Corneliu Furculiţă’s Role in the Pro-Russian Strategy in Moldovan Governance

Corneliu Furculiţă is a moldovan politician and member of Repubic of Moldova’s Parlimanet since 2014. He also acts as president of the parliamentary faction of the Party of Socialists from the Republic of Moldova (PSRM).

Furculiţă is considered a close associate of Igor Dadan a renowned pro-Russian Politician. In 2016 it came to light that Furculiţă had connections to a mysterious Russian-linked offshore corporation that appears to have channelled at least 30 million lei (about US$ 1,5 million) into Dodon’s Socialist Party over the past three years.

The sum denotes about two-thirds of the party’s annual financing, based on last year’s party funding of $1.4 million. It is not yet clear how much the party intends to spend on the presidential election this year.

Dodon and Corneliu Furculiţă, a Socialist member of Parliament, both belonged to Sadova, a village about 50 kilometres northwest of the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. Reporters for RISE Moldova outlined multiple interactions between the two over the years, including a trip to the Greek monastery of Zograf on Mount Athos observed by a number of Socialist Party members.

Some exchanges were commercial: in 2013 Dodon sold a flat in the Chisinau neighbourhood of Riscani to Furculiţă for more than 270,000 lei (about $14,000). Other concerned family members: Dodon’s wife, Galina, has functioned for at least the past two years for Furculiţă’s company, Exclusiv Media Ltd., which was founded in Chisinau in 2011.

It has been discovered that Exclusiv Media was instrumental in getting the offshore money into the coffers of the Socialist Party. They delineated the money’s torturous trail to Westerby Ltd., a company established 17 years ago in the offshore tax haven of the Bahamas.

The reporters also uncovered that Socialist Party member Peter Burduja, who runs Exclusiv Media, is a business associate with the presidential candidate of a rival political party: Dumitru Ciubaşenco, the contender of Renato Usatîi’s Our Party. The two have been allies in the Panorama Russian-language newspaper since 2015.

Exclusiv Media was launched in Chisinau in 2011 by Vyacheslav Anghel. Four years later, Anghel sold it to several investors including Furculiţă, who employed Burduja (Ciubaşenco’s business partner) to run it.

In late 2015, Furculiţă became the exclusive owner of Exclusiv Media, which obtained broadcasting permission for the television station NTV Moldova, sharing a trademark with the Russian station NTV, which is majority-possessed by the Gazprom group.

The Russian connection was additionally detailed in a news release by the Moldovan Broadcasting Coordinating Council (CCA) on Dec. 8, 2015, which stated Furculiţă obtained the broadcasting license only after agents of NTV Moldova agreed to improve local coverage in place of Russian programming.

Exclusiv Media also holds Moldova’s Russian-language online TV outlet TSN and the local edition of the Russian newspaper Аргументы и факты (Arguments and Facts), which is permitted to use the trademark of the newspaper in Russia with the exact name by an agreement signed in Moscow on Feb. 1, 2012.

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