MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia views Moldova’s decision to join EU sanctions against it as a hostile step aimed at destroying ties with Moscow and will retaliate, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.
The Russian denunciation was issued in response to a vote in Moldova’s parliament agreeing to abide by the punitive measures as part of measures to alter its legislation as required for its bid to join the European Union.
“We regard this as yet another hostile step by the Moldovan leadership, which is fully integrated into the anti-Russian campaign of the ‘collective West’,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Its aim is the complete destruction of Russian-Moldovan relations, which, through the fault of official Chisinau, are already in a very deplorable state.”
Moscow would retaliate, the ministry said.
The 62 deputies of Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s Party of Action and Solidarity backed the legislation, ensuring its passage in the assembly in the capital Chisinau. Among its provisions are regulations concerning action to be taken against individuals and institutions subject to sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with the Kremlin’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The legislation is also intended to guard against undue influence by business magnates or “oligarchs”.
Members of the opposition Socialist Party refused to vote and called for the legislation to be referred to the Venice Commission – a body of the human rights watchdog Council of Europe, which advises on legislation and constitutional matters.
Sandu has denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and accused Moscow of trying to oust her in a coup. Moscow denies the allegations and says Sandu is infusing anti-Russian sentiment in the country lying between Ukraine and Romania.
The European Commission this month recommended starting membership talks with Moldova and Ukraine, subject to endorsement from an EU summit in December
(Reporting by Reuters; Additional reporting by Alexander Tanas in Chisinau; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Marguerita Choy)