The Kremlin remained furious after another former USSR country joined anti-Russian sanctions.
Despite not being part of the European Union, Moldova’s parliament agreed this week to respect the bloc’s measures targeting Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow did not hide its fury and described this decision by its former ally as a hostile measure against which it vowed to retaliate in a worrying manner.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a scathing statement: “We consider this a new hostile move by the Moldovan leadership, which is fully integrated into the anti-Russian campaign of the ‘collective West.’
“Its goal is the complete destruction of Russian-Moldovan relations which, through the fault of the official in Chisinau, are already in a very deplorable state.”
The legislation backed by Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s Action and Solidarity Party planned to protect the country against the undue influence of Russian oligarchs.
The anti-Russian stance did not find agreement across the Moldovan political spectrum, with members of the opposition Socialist Party refusing to vote.
Compliance with anti-Russian sanctions is one of the requirements imposed by Brussels on countries wishing to join the bloc.
Moldova was granted EU candidate status from Brussels in June 2022, marking the start of a path that could lead the group to add a new member.
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended starting accession negotiations with Moldova and Ukraine.
Ms Sandu, a staunchly pro-European politician elected in late 2020, accused Russia of trying to overthrow her government.
Observers also believe Russia is waging a disinformation campaign against Moldova to stoke unrest and fuel voter discontent with Ms Sandu’s leadership.
Russia, which denied the allegations made by Moldova, invaded Ukraine in February 2022 – an act strongly condemned by Ms Sandu.
During a recent trip to kyiv, Ms. Sandu expressed gratitude to Ukraine for its war efforts against Russia. By resisting Moscow’s advance, the Moldovan president said, Ukrainian soldiers allowed Moldova to remain free.
She said: “Without your resistance, our country would be the next to be occupied by Russia. The next, and probably not the last. By protecting Ukraine, you are also protecting Moldova.”