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Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Friday welcomed new U.S. sanctions on pro-Russian Shor party member Marina Tauber, accusing her of trying to undermine the democracy.

Tauber has spearheaded street protests against Moldova’s pro-European government in a movement Chisinau says is part of a Moscow-backed effort to destabilize the former Soviet republic.

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“I thank the United States for taking decisive action today against those undermining the integrity of our elections on behalf of the Kremlin through illicit vote buying,” she said on social media platform X.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department added Tauber to its sanctions list saying she was involved in subverting Moldova’s electoral process “through illegal vote buying” on behalf of the Kremlin.

Moldova’s Constitutional Court last year banned the Shor party, led by exiled businessmen Ilan Shor, who was convicted in a $1 billion bank theft and has also been sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent.

U.S. authorities said Tauber helped Shor “shift his party apparatus” to other entities in a bid to “wage … subversion campaigns in upcoming election cycles”.

 

“The United States supports Moldova’s progress on democratic and economic reforms and a future free from the grip of the Kremlin’s malign influence,” the U.S. Treasury statement said.

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