Moldova has reduced the number of Russian embassy staff over ‘unfriendly actions’ amid spying scandal. Moldova’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that it has taken the action against Russia by cutting 45 embassy positions in Chisinau due to what it perceives as “unfriendly actions” against the country. The decision comes as tensions between the two nations escalate, particularly in light of Russia’s involvement in neighboring Ukraine’s war.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this move was prompted due to unfriendly incidents unrelated to diplomacy.. The country shares borders with both Ukraine and Romania, which adds to the complexity of the situation.
Investigations that led to the decision
The Moldova Russian spying scandal has led to the reduction in the number of diplomats and staff at the embassy and was triggered by a joint investigation by two local media outlets. The investigation suggested that satellite dishes and antennas installed on Russia’s embassy rooftop could potentially be used for spying. In response to the report, Moldova summoned Russia’s ambassador and set a deadline of August 15 for Moscow to comply with the decision. This will affect a total of 22 diplomats and 23 administrative staff.
Moldova’s goal in reducing Russian diplomats is to prevent destabilization, said government spokesperson Daniel Voda. He explained that having employees who are not actively involved in promoting bilateral relations raises concerns about their excessive presence.
On the other side, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, viewed the decision as “another step in the destruction of bilateral relations.” She emphasized that Russia will not let what it perceives as unjustified and unfriendly actions go unanswered.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moldova’s leaders have repeatedly accused Moscow of attempting to destabilize their country. Moldova, a former Soviet republic aspiring for EU membership, faces a complex situation with Russia.