Moldova: Patriarch Kirill to Boost Pro-Russian Groups ahead of Elections

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow with Russian President Putin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow with Russian President Putin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The President of Moldova, Igor Dodon has confirmed that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill will visit Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet state, in September.

Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Chisinau is seen as a move to boost the pro-Russian Socialist Party of Moldova in the coming elections in November this year.

The Russian Patriarch Kirill is seen as a close ally to Kremlin and Dodon’s Socialist Party may be benefited because of his presence prior to the elections.

On Wednesday, President Dodon wrote on Facebook: “We have received confirmation of the participation of the Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia.”

Currently, President Dodon’s Socialist Party has 24 seats in the parliament to occupy the second position.

The Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Pavel Filip, has 41 seats to lead the government (the executive branch of the Moldavian government).

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) said that the event will be organized “by the Moldovan Presidency together with Brian Brown, head of the International Family Organization, a US-based religious organization sponsored by a Russian oligarch, Konstantin Malofeyev.”

BIRN said Mr. Malofeyey is a close ally to the Kremlin and “an important fan of Aleksandr Dughin, a mystical ideologist who supports the Kremlin line.”

The Democratic Party of Moldova is a euro-centric party that Kremlin is not happy about. The Kremlin’s approach to maintaining influence in the former Soviet state is nothing new.

The Patriarch Kirill’s visit to promote the pro-Russian group in Moldova thus came as no surprise. The Russian approach to interfere in the former Soviet states seems to have changed its course when popular movement in Armenia removed the pro-Russian government.

Read more: Democracy Triumphs in Armenia

But the Armenian velvet revolution was concise and definitive that had no apparent intention to go against Russia.

In the light of the Armenian realities, the Kremlin will endeavor to maintain its channel of influence in Moldova by boosting the democratic capacity of the pro-Russian Socialist Party.

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