A very unusual public statement appeared on the website of the Moldovan parliament, seemingly following the passing of a diplomatic note to the Russian Ambassador to Moldova during a top level meeting.
In summary at least 25 Moldavian officials have been subjected to harassment by Russian institutions when entering and/or exiting Russia, the statement claiming that one particular Moldavian official had been subjected to harassment 35 times – thus far.
Not only has the general harassment been frequent, it has been escalating – unsurprisingly coinciding with the Moldavian investigation into Russian money laundering ($22 billion) through Moldavian banks.
So what is unusual about Russia harassing representatives of nations that has drawn its ire? Nothing.
What is unusual is that it took the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Moldavian Parliament to deliver this note of protest to the Russian Ambassador to Moldova rather than the usual Foreign Ministry delivery route.
It would appear that the attempts of the Moldavian Foreign Ministry to employ the usual channels were simply ignored and rebuffed by Russia – thus unusual steps were taken. A reader can be sure that with every attempt to make official complaint via the usual channel will have resulted in yet worsening belligerent behavior by the Russian agency responsible for the harassment for matters to have reached this point.
Nevertheless, regardless of what blunt diplomacy occurred at the meeting between the Moldavian parliamentary political elite and the Russian Ambassador, and notwithstanding any direct and/or barbed text within the official note passed, a reader will not be blind to the fact that the Russian agency/agencies responsible for the abandoning of rule of law and international conventions relating to foreign officials are not named in the public statement.
Indeed it the public statement is carefully worded so as to frame the issue not as the Kremlin sanctioned politically motivated harassment it is, but as an overzealous institutional issue relating to Russian agency/agencies perhaps running amok without the Tsar’s awareness.
Something of a “pulled punch”? Well yes, but this is a bantamweight tacking a swing at a heavyweight and suffering from a questionably supportive European corner.
Of course it is also likely that the escalating harassment will now escalate yet further.