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Moldova ‘double standards’ exposed in Gagauz gubernatorial poll, says Russia

Moscow said on Tuesday that Moldova once again showed an “unfriendly approach” to Russia, demonstrating its inclination to “double standards” by preventing the participation of Russian observers in the gubernatorial election in the Gagauz Autonomous Region.

“Russian representatives have always taken part in observing the elections for the head of this region. Unfortunately, this time the Russian Embassy in Moldova was not provided with such an opportunity, unlike employees of diplomatic missions of a number of other countries,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement released by the ministry.

While the invitation of international observers to national and local elections in the country is a matter of internal affairs, Zakharova said Moldova has committed itself to “strive to facilitate the access of international observers to electoral processes conducted at a lower than the national level, down to the municipal (local) level” under agreements with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).​​​​​​​

Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said in an interview with local media last February that the country will begin to denounce agreements with the CIS due to Chisinau’s “goal of European integration,” thus suspending its participation in the organization.

The CIS is a regional organization formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 by its former members to encourage cooperation in economic, political, and security affairs.

“A similar commitment is contained in the 1990 CSCE (OSCE) Copenhagen Document, which has been repeatedly reaffirmed in subsequent decisions of the Organization. Thus, official Chisinau once again showed an unfriendly approach to Russia, demonstrating its inclination to double standards,” Zakharova added.

She said Moscow is looking forward to the second round of the Gagauz election and hopes that voters will be given “the opportunity to truly express their will,” adding that they hope the newly elected leadership of the region will “continue the line of developing traditional ties with our country and Russian regions.”

The first round of the election, which began on Sunday, has not produced any candidate able to hit the figure required for an outright win, necessitating a second round scheduled to take place on May 14.

Grigorii Uzun, nominated by the Socialist Party led by former Moldovan President Igor Dodon, and Evghenia Gutsul, the candidate for the pro-Russian Shor Party, will face off in the second round.

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