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1:43 a.m. ET, March 17, 2023

In a secret document, he revealed Russia’s 10-year plan to destabilize Moldova, which borders Ukraine

From CNN’s Tim Lester

A secret plan crafted by Russia’s security service, the FSB, elaborates destabilization options Moldova – Including support for pro-Russian groups, taking advantage of the Orthodox Church and threatening to cut off natural gas supplies.

The document appears to have been drawn up to thwart Moldova’s tendency toward the West, which includes closer ties with NATO and an application to join the European Union. He repeatedly points out the importance of preventing Moldova from joining NATO.

It was acquired and first disclosed by a consortium of media outlets, including VSquare, Frontstory, RISE Moldova, Expressen in Sweden, Dossier Center for Investigative Journalism, and other outlets.

CNN has seen the full document, which appears to have been written in 2021 by the FSB’s Directorate for Cross-Border Cooperation. Its title is “Strategic Objectives of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova”.

The document outlines a 10-year strategy to bring Moldova, a former Soviet republic wedged between Ukraine and Romania, into Russia’s sphere of influence.

The plan includes making Moldova dependent on Russian gas imports and provoking social conflict, as well as trying to block Moldova’s efforts to gain influence in the breakaway, pro-Russian region of Transnistria, where about 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed.

Ukraine borders: Russia accused Ukraine of planning to invade and seize Transnistria, which borders southwestern Ukraine. Russia’s defense ministry said last month that Ukrainians had been collecting armor in several border villages. Both Moldova and Ukraine rejected this claim.

Russia’s response: Asked about the document on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We don’t know anything about the existence of such a plan. I don’t rule out that this could be another fake. Russia has always been and remains open to building good-neighborly and mutually beneficial relations, including with Moldova.

Peskov added: “We are very sorry that the current leadership of Moldova is witnessing unwarranted and unfounded prejudices against Moscow.”

Read the full story here.

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