US Congressman Randy Weber on Moldova situation

US Congressman Randy Weber on Moldova situation and encouraging United States support for anti-corruption efforts and strengthening democratic institutions.

Mr. Weber of Texas and Mr. Franks of Arizona submitted the resolution in the House of Representatives on September 27, 2016.

H. RES. 896
Recognizing the significance of the United States relationship with the Republic of Moldova and encouraging United States support for anti-corruption efforts and strengthening democratic institutions.
[…]
Whereas due in part to its strategic location, Moldova has developed into a legitimate player in the region, becoming increasingly significant as Russia continues to violate borders and meddle in the internal affairs of its neighbors;

Whereas the theft of nearly $1,000,000,000 from 3 major banks in Moldova in 2014, much of which consisted of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans, has exposed corruption at the highest levels of the Government of Moldova;

Whereas as a result of this banking scandal and the widely acknowledged kleptocracy of a number of political leaders, in recent months Moldova has witnessed anti-government protests composed of hundreds of thousands of people demanding snap elections and the government’s resignation;

Whereas it has been alleged by credible sources, including former senior Moldovan Government officials cooperating with the United States Government, and other whistleblowers with personal knowledge of the bank heist and organized criminal activity, that members of the current ruling party, including Vice-Chairman of the Moldovan Democratic Party and feared oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, participated in the laundering of these funds into Russian banks and off-shore shell companies;

[…]

Whereas Plahotniuc, who despite holding no elected office is often described as Moldova’s “Puppeteer”, has deep ties to Moscow including Russian officials that are strong supporters of the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria;

Whereas it is understood that United States law enforcement agencies have initiated investigations into the missing $1,000,000,000 from the National Bank of Moldova reserves as well as the possible fraudulent use of the United States banking system, with involvement by United States citizens, to launder money; […]

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives 

(1) calls on the United States Government and the European Union to ensure that free and fair presidential elections are held in Moldova on October 30, 2016;

(2) encourages the President and the Department of State to restrict assistance designated for Moldova to only justice sector reform, anti-corruption efforts, and strengthening democratic institutions as long as corruption within the government ranks persist;

(3) urges the Executive Branch agencies that have initiated investigations to pursue all available avenues to determine if the United States banking system, with involvement by United States citizens was used to launder money as part of the Moldovan banking scandal, if United States taxpayer dollars in the form of IMF loans were directed to sanctioned entities; and what if any members of the Government of Moldova, recipients of United States foreign aid, participated in, or benefitted from, the 2014 bank heist, including Vladimir Plahotniuc;
[…]
5) requests that, if as a result of said investigations, individuals or entities, including Vladimir Plahotniuc, Andrian Candu, the speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, Mihai Poalelungi, the chairman of the Moldovan Supreme Court of Justice; Eduard Harunjen, the acting Moldovan attorney general, Viorel Chetraru, the general director of Moldova’s National Anti-Corruption Center, Viorel Morari, the chief of Moldova’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s office, Vladimir Cebotari, Moldova’s Minister of Justice, Alexandru Jizdan, Moldova’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Serghei Iaralov, Ion Plesca, the President of Chisinau’s Court of Appeal, and Dorin Damir, the President of the Fighting and Entertainment Association of Moldova, are found to have participated in the laundering of funds from entities or governments sanctioned by the United States, that the United States consider imposing sanctions on those individuals and entities to the extent that United States law allows, including the ban of travel to the United States, economic sanctions, and the freezing of assets;  […]

The full text of the resolution can be found using the following link:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/896/text?resultIndex=2

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