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Four MEPs distance themselves from Ilan Shor, EPP warns it does not support Shor party

The five MEPs meeting with Ilan Shor, the "operator" of the Grand Moldovan Theft

24 January 2018- In a statement, four Italian members of the European Parliament from the EPP group denounced the way the Shor Party and some press outlets reported their recent visit to Orhei, the Moldovan city where the infamous banker Ilan Shor is mayor. The MEPs are Fulvio Martusciello, Stefano Maullu, Alberto Cirio and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese.

According to them, the visit was used to attack the center-right opposition in Moldova, to discredit the European People’s Party and to misguide the public opinion:

“We deeply regret the malicious manipulations by the Shor party and the press regarding our last visit to Moldova. This visit to Moldova was conducted in our private capacity and does not represent, in any way, the European People’s Party’s (EPP) intention nor wish to express support or to work with Ilan Shor or with the Shor party.The use of the visit by the media – controlled by the Shor party and the ruling party – to attack the opposition, shows a desperate attempt to discredit the EPP, the center-right opposition in Moldova and to misguide the public opinion. ”

The decision to distance from Shor comes after the EPP group declaration on the visit of the four Italian MEPs and another Czech EPP MEP, Tomas Zdechovsky.  According to the Foreign Affairs Coordinator of the EPP, Cristian Preda, the visit itself and the declarations of the given MEPs do not represent the position of the EPP in matters of foreign policy:

“The European People’s Party does not have anything in common with Mr.Shor and his party”, stated the Romanian MEPadding that Maia Sandu’s Action and Solidarity Party and Andrei Năstase’s Platform “Dignity and Truth” truly represents the pro-European, democratic forces with engagement to the anti-corruption fight Moldova needs.

The four MEPs and the EPP can have the right to be concerned about how Shor’s media reflected their visits: they allegedly pledged to support Shor in his political career, appreciated his projects in Orhei, even promised support in the investigation of the banking frauds, questioned the Kroll report.

Ironically, just after the release of the EPP statement, the Shor party issued a report on its Vice-President, Marina Tauber (Shor’s former business partner), meeting the Vice-President of the European Parliament, EPP-affiliated FIDESZ MEP, Livia Jaroka. The meeting was reportedly focused on “the role of women in politics” and the issues of “anti-semitism and xenophobia”.

EPP can issue statement after statement condemning Shor, but eventually, lobby groups will do their best with Shor’s money to make EPP MEPs or other figures available for meetings and discussions with the former banker or his associates.

Ilan Shor has other “supporters” in the European Parliament: French MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (who helped French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen obtain a 9 million euros loan from the First Russian-Czech Bank), Italian MEPs Elisabetta Gardini (VP of EPP, supporter of lifting personal sanctions against Russian officials), Lorenzo Fontana (Lega Nord). Schaffhauser, Fontana, and the above-mentioned Alberto Cirio visited the separatist entities in Eastern Ukraine, while Gardini failed to visit illegally-occupied Crimea. His sudden visits to the EP drew quite some attention in the international and national press.

A central figure of the Kroll report on the “Billion Theft”, Ilan Shor was sentenced to 7,5 years in prison for particularly large scams, money laundering. Shor is accused of obtaining more than 5 billion lei from Banca de Economii in loans, from 4th to 25th of November 2014, the sum being confirmed by the Kroll report, and then laundering them through offshore companies. Ilan Shor has been under preventive arrest since 22 June 2016 but then released in June 2017. He is currently the mayor of Orhei, a city in the center of Moldova.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

Gagauzia

MP leaves Democratic Party, Moldova Parliament for “New Gagauzia” group

27 April 2018- The Member of the Moldovan Parliament, Nikolay Dudoglo, announced about his withdrawal from the Democratic Party (PDM) and the withdrawal of his MP mandate.

Dudoglo was reportedly asked by the Democratic leadership to choose between his membership in the party and his participation in a new regional political movement “Eni Gagauzia” (New Gagauzia). In a press release of the organization, the Gagauz MP and former Comrat mayor stated that he chose to lead New Gagauzia because “it is time to make Gagauzia a strong region”.

Dudoglo confessed that despite having a fruitful work with PDM members, he abstained from voting for projects that did not coincide with his vision on Gagauzia. His recent activity within New Gagauzia posed a problem for the Democrats:

“The leadership of PDM believes that some of my actions, that I undertook from Gagauzia’s perspective, violate the principles of the party and the European vector of the development of the State”, said the MP.

Dudoglo underlined that he would remain politically active as a “leader” of his people:

“I stay with the conviction that we need to act the way our people want. I am sure that I can fulfill serious tasks, which are put before us by life, being an independent leader of my people (literal meaning nation– Moldova.org)“, concluded Dudoglo, expressing his hope for understanding and support.

New Gagauzia reportedly joined the Democratic Party of Moldova in 2012.

Gagauzia was established in 1994 as an autonomy for around 150 000 Gagauz (Turkish origin) people in the south of the Republic of Moldova. Gagauzia’s leadership is composed of the directly elected bashkan, now Irina Vlah, and the People’s Assembly.

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Politics

Silvia Radu resigns from position of Chișinău interim mayor to participate in elections

25 April 2018- Silvia Radu announced that she would resign from the position of interim mayor of Chișinău. The decision was made after she was registered as an independent candidate in the mayoral elections from May 20th.

“I am leaving the leadership of the City Council to win the elections. I want the changes in this city to go on, to have a European city. I wish that all projects initiated by me continued. They are projects that the city needs”said Radu, mentioning that she would finance her campaign from her family’s money.

The responsibilities of interim mayor would thus go to the vice-mayor, Ruslan Codreanu.

So far, 12 candidates registered for the mayoral race in Chișinău. The elections were announced early because of the resignation of Dorin Chirtoacă, investigated in a corruption case.

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Politics

Ukraine-Moldova joint border control agreement promulgated by Poroshenko, new transport agreement is signed

12 April 2018- The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, promulgated the law on the Agreement on the joint border control in the joint checkpoints of the Moldo-Ukrainian frontier. The promulgation was made in the presence of the Moldovan Prime-Minister Pavel Filip.

The Agreement was previously ratified by the Ukrainian Rada on 1 March 2018, while the first joint control began at the Cuciurgan-Pervomaisk checkpoint, within the Transnistrian segment of the frontier.

According to an official press-release, Filip and Poroshenko set as priorities for the following period the opening of the bridge between Unguri and Boronița, and the activation of the process of demarcation of the Moldo-Ukrainian border.

According to Kyiv Post, the Moldovan PM and the Ukrainian President talked about the negotiation process on the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on the functioning of the Dniester integrated hydroelectric complex, but also about the Transnistrian settlement and the Moldovan help to Ukrainian children from Donbas.

On the same day, PM Filip assisted with his Ukrainian homolog, Volodymyr Groysman, at the ceremony of the signing of the protocol on modifying the Agreement between Moldova and Ukraine on the international automobile communications. The move aimed at liberalizing the international goods and passengers transportation between the countries comes at a time of increased trade links (reported 13% increase in 2017). Thus, the automobiles traveling between Moldova and Ukraine (complying with EURO 3 standards) will be not required international authorizations.

The Protocol decision on a 1993 Agreement aims at liberalizing the air transport system by developing the air links, facilitating the activity of airlines, creating conditions for companies that will work between the two countries, writes Mold-street.com.

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