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According to Dodon, the voting in the first round was “free, correct and democratic,” whereas Sandu claimed that she saw “many attempts to steal the elections,” including more than 300 violations of “the transportation of voters.”
Last month, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, accused the US of planning a “color revolution” in Moldova.
Located between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Formerly a part of Romania, and then a Soviet republic, much of the country’s political discourse surrounds a debate over whether to ally closer to Brussels or Moscow.
Another large shadow hanging over the election is that of Vladimir Plahotniuc, who previously ran the pro-European Union Democratic Party of Moldova. A strongly anti-Russian figure, he fled the country in 2019, and is now residing in Turkey after spending time in the United States. The US declared him persona non grata earlier this year, but refused to extradite him to Moldova. He is also wanted for attempted murder in Russia.
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