June 6, 2023

US designates members of Russia-linked group for their efforts to destabilize Moldova

On June 5, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated seven individuals who have facilitated the Russian government’s campaign to destabilize Moldova.  OFAC also designated ceramic lantern producer Perko Julleuchter for being owned or controlled by one of the new designees.  OFAC reports that the sanctioned individuals, many of which have ties to Russian intelligence, are members of a malign influence group with global operations targeting Ukraine, countries that border Ukraine such as Moldova and the Balkans, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  According to OFAC, the goal of this group is to exploit certain countries’ vulnerabilities, and then foster fears within the population in order to undermine faith in democratic principles in these countries.  These efforts have resulted in attempts to foster an insurrection against the Moldovan government in order to capitalize on protests organized in February and March of 2023 by Ilan Shor, a fugitive oligarch who was designated by the United States in October 2022 pursuant to EO 14024 for interfering in a US or other foreign government election on behalf of the Russian Federation.

As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of these designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Department of Treasury Press Release