The deputies voted for two critical laws regarding the Soviets and military symbols and Kremlin’s propaganda in Moldova.
Former pro-Russian president Igor Dodon (C), and Russian Ambassador to Moldova, Oleg Vashnetsov, (CL) at the annual May 9 Soviet Victory Day Parade in Chisinau, wearing St George ribbons. Photo: BIRN/Madalin Necsutu
Pro-Russian politicians in Moldova on Friday denounced a ban on symbols backing Russia’s attack on Ukraine, such as the letters “V” and “Z”, as well as the “St George” black-and-orange ribbon, adopted by parliament on Thursday evening.
The former pro-Russian President Igor Dodon protested against the changes on Friday. “There are things, values and symbols that cannot be banned, no matter how hard the current Chisinau Puppet Government strives,” he said.
“On May 9, our citizens will show their character and show this senseless government that abusive, anti-democratic and irresponsible decisions cannot annul historical memory,” Dodon wrote on Facebook.
Dodon threatened to break the law and said he would take to the streets on May 9 and wear a St George’s ribbon “along with tens of thousands of people celebrating Victory Day [in World War II] against Nazism.”
Pro-European MPs defended the law change. “Because these signs justify military aggression against Ukraine, we considered it necessary to amend the Contravention Code to not allow their glorification on the territory of our country,” MP Lilian Carp said.
People who spread them, including online, will be fined from about 225 to 450 euros or with unpaid community service of 30 to 60 hours. Legal entities and public officials who violate the provisions risk a bigger fine of 450 to 900 euros.
“The making, sale, distribution, possession for public use and use of generally known attributes and symbols used in acts of military aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the propaganda or glorification of such actions, is also prohibited,” added Carp.
The pro-European majority of deputies also adopted an anti-propaganda law, which bans Russian propaganda in Moldova on TV and radio.
At the same time, the new law offers wider prerogatives to the Security and Intelligence Service, SIS, to act against false news spread on specific party-affiliated portals or by the Kremlin in Moldova, which then spread their content also on social networks.
After nearly three hours of debate, pro-Russian Communist and Socialist MPs blocked the rostrum of parliament in protest against the changes.
“By the way, Victory Day starts with Z and V [in the Romanian language]. Does parliament want to ban this phrase as well? … Does this government have a sense of measure? Does it have an understanding of risks? Does it understand that people have a limit to their patience?” ex-president Dodon asked, rhetorically.
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