Hmm…. this all sounds very familiar. First, the staid New York Times piece:
These days, however, it is a different photograph that is rallying support for Moscow’s allies in Europe’s Poorest Country™. It shows a United States assistant secretary of state, Victoria J. Nuland, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington with Vlad Plahotniuc, Moldova’s most-feared figure, a nominally pro-Western tycoon with a reputation so toxic that even his political friends usually try to keep their distance in public.
That the United States would have dealings with such an unpopular figure has dismayed many Moldovans, particularly those who share Washington’s desire to steer the country out of Russia’s orbit and toward the West.
Washington, and by extension Nuland and her fellow True Believers in a New American Century, are certainly anti-Russian. But this goes far beyond “steering” Moldova towards the west. Their end game is to militarily control Moldova via NATO.
To find out what really happened in Washington with Nuland and Plathotniuc, you’ve got to read articles like this one:
Vlad Plahotniuc, an oligarch-hegemon, has entered American political elite circles with impetus during a May event organised by the Atlantic Council, a think-tank closely connected with the Department of State. During his visit to the US, Plahotniuc received assurances of Washington’s support for Moldova’s government from Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. He also met with the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, Menno Snel.
Plahotniuc’s visit to the US has a special significance. The oligarch represented Moldova during official high level talks, despite the fact that he does not hold any official function. Although officially it was the deputy prime minister and the minister of economy, Octavian Calmic, who headed the delegation, the media was unanimous that it was Plahotniuc who ruled the roost: it was him, who reported on the meetings with Nuland and Snel, who conducted the talks and who was present during all the photo ops.
The rank of the visit was unclear and so was the role of the oligarch. As it eventually turned out, Plahotniuc’s function was that of an “executive coordinator” for the ruling coalition’s council. Needless to say, the general public in Moldova was aware neither of the existence of the council nor of such a function. Through Nuland, Washington has again reassured the ruling camp in Moldova of its support, thereby legitimising the existence of an alternative power centre without a democratic mandate or constitutional responsibility.
So let’s recap here, shall we?
Nuland went “above and beyond” her standard duty as #2 at the State Department (Foreign Ministry) in January by immediately backing Pavel “Mr. Midnight” Filip’s government, despite widespread popular discontent in Moldova. Filip, of course, is one of Plathoniuc’s best friends and was only chosen after the Moldovan president refused to accept the nomination of Plahotniuc for prime minister.
Now, despite the fact that he has no official position, he’s leading a delegation to Washington to “receive assurances” from the IMF and Nuland during a meeting of the Atlantic Council.
In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, let’s review a little timeline:
February 7, 2014: A leaked audio file on YouTube reveals that US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt and Victoria Nuland have agreed that the EU sucks and that Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk was the best man for the job to lead Ukraine.
February 21, 2014: Ukrainian president Yanukovych signs agreement with opposition, including “Yats” and two other Ukrainian leaders.
February 24, 2014: Yatsenyuk becomes “acting” Prime Minister of Ukraine, later full PM of Ukraine.
March 14, 2014: Yatsenyuk flies to Washington to meet with the Atlantic Council.
PRIME MIN. YATSENYUK: So let me put it this way. On the conflict that emerged in 2008 in Georgia, these are the implications of Bucharest summit (holding ?) NATO. MAP. If you don’t have MAP, you have something else, like military aggression. And this is the dramatic lesson for all of us.
The acronym MAP means NATO “Members and Partners”, more commonly referred to by the Orwellian title Partnership for Peace, sort of a “junior” version of NATO. In 2008, NATO held a summit in Bucharest and declined to include Ukraine as a member. So Yats is equating Ukraine’s non-membership in NATO in 2008 for what happened in 2014.
August 29, 2014: “Yats” encourages Ukrainian parliament to take steps to become full member of NATO. Multiple joint exercises are held in 2015 and 2016 and NATO gives Ukraine several million dollars in equipment and training.
Meanwhile, over in Moldova:
May 3, 2016: Plathotniuc is guest of honor at the Atlantic Council for the Distinguished Leadership Awards where he meets with Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO.
May 4, 2016: Plathotniuc publishes selfie with Nuland and brags about how the United States supports him and the parliament that he controls.
May 8, 2016: NATO tanks, artillery and soldiers hold a show of force parade on the streets of Chisinau despite widespread protests.