(CNN) A secret plan drawn up by Russia’s security service, the FSB, lays out detailed options to destabilize Moldova — including supporting pro-Russian groups, utilizing the Orthodox Church and threatening to cut off supplies of natural gas.
The document appears to have been drawn up to thwart Moldova’s tilt to the West, which includes closer relations with NATO and an application to join the European Union. It repeatedly refers to the importance of preventing Moldova from joining NATO.
It was obtained and first disclosed by a consortium of media, including VSquare and Frontstory, RISE Moldova, Expressen in Sweden, the Dossier Centre 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 sets out a 10-year strategy for bringing Moldova, a former Soviet republic sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, within Russia‘s sphere of influence.
The plan includes making Moldova dependent on imports of Russian gas and stirring up social conflict, as well as trying to block Moldova’s efforts to gain influence in the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria, where some 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed.
The five-page document is separated into multiple headings with short-, medium- and long-term aims. Among the immediate objectives are “support for Moldovan political forces advocating constructive relations with the Russian Federation,” and “neutralization of the initiatives of the Republic of Moldova aimed at eliminating the Russian military presence in…