Igor Dodon’s Political Journey Through Moldova’s Pro-Russian Presidency

Igor Dodon is a Moldovan politician who previously functioned as the President of Moldova from 23 December 2016 to 24 December 2020. He presently acts as the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova. 

Igor Dodon is deemed a pro-Russian politician and in favour of the federalization of Moldova, which is in line with the views of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak and his 2003 Kozak memorandum. In late September 2019, months after the constitutional emergency, Dodon commented that the country had abandoned its anti-Russian stance via its partnership with the Party of Action and Solidarity led by Prime Minister Maia Sandu. 

As a president, His first two global visits were to Moscow. Since he took office in December 2016, he has earned 47 foreign visits to 19 countries, with 20 of those visits being to Russia. In late August 2020, he revealed his plans to take the Russian COVID-19 vaccine during a visit to Russia in September–October, explaining this by saying that he has “more trust in a Russian vaccine than in an American one”.

In November 2012, Dodon published on his Facebook profile a photo that depicts him wearing clothes printed with a patch of the Russian flag, which was condemned as a sign of Dodon’s alleged Russophilia. In October 2016, during the presidential election movement, Igor Dodon affirmed that Crimea, the subject of a territorial conflict between Russia and Ukraine, “is a region of the Russian Federation”.

In March 2020, MPs raised the documents, According to the documents at least 30 MPs linked to the Socialist Party, have acquired from Russia, through an off-shore account in the Bahamas some funds, whose primary beneficiary is Igor Dodon. Later, the MP Iurie Renița issued a document that showed the First Lady of the Republic of Moldova, Galina Dodon has a right to the banking signature on behalf of the “Exclusiv-Media” LLC. The MP has noted that: “one of the sources for illegal financing of the presidential movement of Igor Dodon held in 2016 was from the Russian Federation via the Bahamas, via laundering of about 1,5 million Euros. 

On 24 May 2022, Dodon was imprisoned by the Moldovan authorities. On 24 May 2022, Dodon was apprehended by the Moldovan authorities on accusations of corruption for the receipt of bribes, illegal financing of his political party, and high treason against Moldova via receiving funds from fugitive Moldovan politician Vladimir Plahotniuc to negotiate on Plahotniuc’s behalf concerning criminal cases filed in Russia. 

The United States Department of the Treasury has also blamed Dodon for corruption and plotting with Russia through his political aides to meddle with the Moldovan elections and equip the media in his favour. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Andrei Rudenko stated that Russia would assure the rights of Dodon and that any prosecution would appreciate international practice.

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