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UK to help protect Moldova and Georgia against Russian interference with multi-million pound funding boost

To help Georgia and Moldova protect themselves from Russian interference, the UK has pledged millions of pounds.

James Cleverly, Foreign Secretary, will visit the region to announce additional funding to help counter the destabilizing effects of President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Package will include additional PS10m to support economic reforms in Moldova and money to improve the security of next-year’s elections in Georgia.

Image: Protest in Chisinau organized by the Movement for the People and members of Moldova’s Russia-friendly Shor Party against the pro-Western government. Pic by AP

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In an effort to strengthen control over the region, the Kremlin was accused of spreading disinformation and unrest between both countries.

‘Russian malign activity’

Before the visit, Mr Cleverly stated that “Few societies comprehend the underhand tactics Russian malign activities more than Moldova or Georgia.”

Georgia: More

“The UK will not sit by and watch as Moscow undermines their democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

“We must strengthen their resistance to Russia’s hybrid threats and safeguard their democratic choices. We also need to protect them from the threat at their door.”

According to Maia Sandu (pro-Western Moldovan president), the visit comes after claims that Moscow had planned to use foreign saboteurs in a coup.

The Russian foreign ministry rejected the claims as “completely unfounded” and “unsubstantiated”.

Image: President Maia Sandu

On Sunday, seven individuals were arrested by the Moldovan police for inciting unrest during protests against the government.

The PS10m pledged by the UK on Thursday to improve transparency and combat corruption is being added to.

According to the government, work is underway to improve cyber defenses, combat pro-Russian disinformation and reform the armed forces, as well as build a stronger economy.

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Putin “trying to destabilize Europe”

Continue reading:

Russia-backed plot has been foiled to cause unrest and violence in Moldova, police report

Wizz Air suspends flights from Chisinau to the Moldovan capital, Chisinau because of a ‘elevated’ airspace risk

Europe’s future is dependent on Ukraine’s victory, warns a Moldovan minister

In Georgia, Mr Cleverly is going to see how cooperation in cyber security and defense helps protect against outside interference.

To help ensure “an environment conducive to free and fair elections in 2024, as well as protection from external interference”, the UK has also provided PS500,000.

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After widespread protests and international criticism, Georgia’s government had to abandon a controversial draft of its law .

Opponents worried that the foreign agent registration bill would be used to suppress dissent and reduce media freedoms.


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