Rubles for Dodon: Six bank transfers from Russia to Moldovan public association headed by former socialist president – RISE Moldova
As head of state, Igor Dodon and his party have built some of their election campaigns on theories that Moldova is in danger of being captured by foreigners. At the same time, they insisted that foreign-backed public associations were a threat to the country. Except that after Igor Dodon lost the support of Moldovan taxpayers at the end of 2021, he himself became the president of a public association, RISE Moldova writes.
The move also came with a remuneration ten times higher than the one he had when he was president of the country. More precisely, according to the source cited, 202 thousand lei per month, an amount he approved. The money also came from businessmen close to the Kremlin.
RISE Moldova journalists, in partnership with the “Dossier” Centre, traced six bank transfers from Russia to the Moldovan public association headed by the former socialist president – the Public Association “Moldovan-Russian Business Union”. Specifically, there is a statement on the movement of financial funds through the bank account of “Delovaia Rossia” in Sberbank in 2021 and 2022.
The data analysed by RISE shows that from October 2021 to April 2022, i.e. in just 7 months, more than 20 million Russian rubles (about five million lei) entered the Moldovan account of the public association headed by Igor Dodon.
5 October 2021, Chisinau. Already a member of parliament, Igor Dodon, chairman of the Party of Socialists, distributes a party appeal asking the head of the European Union delegation in Chisinau and other foreign diplomats “not to interfere in the internal affairs of the state”.
On the same day, 2.8 million roubles (about 700 thousand lei) are deposited in the Russian account of Delovaia Rossia. The sender – Igor Chaika, son of the former Russian Prosecutor General and business partner of the Dodon family. And the next day, Igor Dodon was already in Moscow for a meeting with Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration, RISE Moldova reports.
On the same day, Igor Dodon signs an agreement with Pavel Titov, chairman of Delovaia Rossia, for a donation of 2.8 million rubles. In other words, exactly the same amount that Igor Chaika had transferred to the Russian organisation’s account the day before.
30 November 2021. A news item appears on the Socialists’ website based on Dodon’s statement that “the ruling party [Action and Solidarity Party] is rapidly losing its trust credit”. On the same day, Igor Chaika transfers another 2.8 million rubles to the “Delovaia Rossia” account. The next day, Dodon comes out with new public criticism of the Chisinau government. A few days later, Delovaia Rossia transfers another 2.8 million rubles to the Moldovan-Russian Business Union.
On 27 December 2021, Dodon congratulates “Delovaia Rossia” on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. And Igor Chaika transfers some more money to the account of “Delovaia Rossia” “for special donations”. Now it’s 4 million rubles (about 1 million lei). The next day, virtually the same amount – 3.9 million roubles – goes to Moldova, to the account of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union. RISE journalist asked “Delovaia Rossia” for a comment, but the organization did not respond.
22 February 2022. 6.1 million rubles (1.4 million lei) leave Russia to the account of the association headed by Igor Dodon. On the same day, the founders of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union hold a press conference in Chisinau to present the organisation.
The last transfer, on 19 April, was 2.6 million roubles (about 600 thousand lei). On the same day, Dodon posted on social media a repeated appeal to his supporters, urging them to come to the May 9 Victory March with the St George’s ribbon, banned by Moldovan authorities in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Only a few days after the 2.6 million rubles were transferred from Russia, a Moldovan bank will return the money to the sender – “Delovaia Rossia”, with the wording: “according to the internal policy” of the Moldovan bank. And in May, “Delovaia Rossia” will redirect the money to Igor Chaika’s personal account, the source said.
The President’s salary
In the last three months of 2021, the “Moldovan-Russian Business Union” Association received more than 9 million rubles from Russia (more than 2.3 million lei). We do not know if any of this amount went to the president of the association, Igor Dodon, but we do know what salary was set, the source said.
In the last three months of 2021, the Association “Moldovan-Russian Business Union” received over 9 million rubles from Russia (over 2.3 million lei). We don’t know if any of this amount went to the president of the association, Igor Dodon, but we do know what salary was set, the source said.
In 2021, the official income of the Dodon family amounted to 410 thousand lei. His wife, Galina, brought in the most money from this amount (296 thousand lei). For his part, Dodon has so far not declared a single leu received from the Moldovan-Russian Business Union, which he has been heading since June 2021.
But in the spring of 2022, RISE came into possession of a list of expenses of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union. According to the document, all of the organization’s planned expenditures for five months of 2021 were supposed to amount to more than 2.7 million lei.
As for 2022, the association’s budget already constitutes over 37.5 million rubles (over 9 million lei). It should be noted that in the budget there is a special heading signed “Reserve fund for the implementation of projects of social and charitable importance”. Expenditure of 2.1 million roubles (506 thousand lei) was planned for this purpose.