UK will help protect Moldova and Georgia from Russian interference with multi-million pound funding boost | world news

The UK is pledging millions of pounds to help Moldova and Georgia protect themselves against Russian interference.

Visiting the region, the Minister of Foreign Affairs james shrewdly will announce new funding to build resilience in the face of the destabilizing impact of the President Vladimir Poutineis the war in Ukraine.

The package will include an additional £10m to support economic and governance reforms in Moldovaas well as funds to strengthen the security of next year’s elections by Georgia.

A demonstration in Chisinau organized by the Movement for the People group and members of the Russian-friendly Shor party against the pro-Western government. Photo: AP

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The Kremlin has been accused of trying to spread misinformation and unrest in both countries in a bid to increase control in the region.

“Russian Malicious Activity”

Ahead of the visit, Mr. Cleverly said: “Few companies understand the underhanded tactics of Russian malign activity better than Moldova and Georgia.

“The UK will not sit idly by while Moscow blatantly undermines its democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We must build their resilience against hybrid threats from Russia, safeguard the democratic choices of their people and protect them from the threat at their doorstep.”

The visit follows claims by pro-Western Moldovan President Maia Sandu that Moscow was planning to use foreign saboteurs to stage a coup.

The Russian Foreign Ministry previously dismissed the allegations as “completely unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated”.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu
Moldovan President Maia Sandu

On Sunday, Moldovan police arrested seven people accused of fomenting trouble during anti-government protests.

The £10 million announced Thursday in Chisinau comes on top of the £12 million previously pledged by the UK to help improve transparency and tackle corruption.

The government says work is already underway to strengthen defenses against cyberattacks, combat pro-Russian disinformation, reform the armed forces and build a stronger economy.

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Putin “trying to destabilize Europe”

Learn more:
Russian-backed plot to cause unrest in Moldova foiled, police say
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In Georgia, Mr. Cleverly will see how collaboration on defense and cybersecurity helps protect against interference from outside powers.

The UK is also providing £500,000 to help create “a conducive environment for free and fair elections in 2024, protecting them from outside interference”.

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Last week, the Georgian government was forced to introduce a controversial billfollowing mass protests and widespread international criticism.

Opponents feared the Foreign Agents Registration Bill could be used to stifle dissent and restrict media freedom.


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