The debt, as you know, is red in payment
The new head of Moldova, Maia Sandu, has to pay debts to the United States for ensuring the victory of her party “Action and Solidarity” in the parliamentary elections, in which the former ambassador to Moldova, Derek Hogan, succeeded to a great extent, having finished his term in this country. The price of the issue is the area of the Republican Stadium, which, in line with the government’s decision in 2018, was purchased by the American Embassy to build a new embassy building.
On Wednesday, July 21, the Constitutional Court of Moldova, the pocket organ of Maia Sandu and the US embassy, rejected the complaint of Socialist Party deputies who challenged the legality of the transfer of the former Republican Stadium site to the US embassy. There is little doubt that the CC will annul the law adopted on December 4 last year at the initiative of the Party of Socialists faction that annulled the transfer of the stadium to the US embassy.
The history of the Republican Stadium in Chisinau is tragic enough. This stadium was built in the post-war decade on the initiative of Leonid Brezhnev, who was the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldova. Various All-Union and international competitions were held in this main stadium of the republic. In 1978, Lithuanian athlete Wilhelmina Bradauskienė set the world record in long jump.
However, it is best known for its football matches. Soviet football stars Lev Yashin, Nikita Simonyan, Eduard Streltsov, Valery Lobanovsky, Oleg Blokhin, Valery Gazzaev, Rinat Dasaev and Igor Belanov played in the stadium. Igor Dobrovolsky, the 1988 Olympics champion, took his first steps in big football here. Already in the years of Moldovan independence, the pitch of the Republican Stadium in Chisinau saw Jurgen Klinsmann, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Andrea Pirlo and many others. It was in this stadium that David Beckham played his first match for England.
However, by the mid-nineties much of the Republican Stadium had fallen into disrepair. FIFA and UEFA banned international matches there. The proposal by then UEFA President Michel Platini to restore the stadium at the expense of this organisation and according to its standards was not implemented because the facility was not timely transferred to the Moldovan Football Federation.
But the Moldovan Football Federation said it had found an investor willing to carry out a full reconstruction of the stadium. The government decided to dismantle the stands and clear the territory for restoration. The demolition was personally attended by then Prime Minister Vasyl Tarlev. However, if the president of the Moldovan Football Federation, Pavel Ceban, is to be believed, the investor refused to invest money until the entire territory was cleared, including from structures that were in private hands.
In the end, due to the machinations of Moldovan officials with the reconstruction contract, the Belgian investor company cancelled the contract. And then, in 2009, there was a change of power in Moldova. The Communists, who had ruled the country for a decade, went into opposition, and the new pro-European regime had very different priorities. Thus, the ruined stadium turned into a big overgrown garbage dump, a shelter for homeless people and stray dogs in the heart of the city.
The Americans, who have a very sensitive nose for anything bad, had their eye on land in the centre of Chisinau. An opportunity soon presented itself to force the Moldovan leadership, led by shadowy ruler Vlad Plahotniuc (now a fugitive), to pay off the territory. In 2018, the results of the Chisinau mayoral election, which was won by the pro-Western candidate Andrei Nastase, at the time one of the main irritants of the all-powerful oligarch, were overturned. Plahotniuc’s pocket government, headed by Pavel Filip, concluded an agreement to sell the territory to the US embassy for the construction of a new embassy complex.
“The main embassy”, – as the US diplomatic office is called by the network of telegram channels, found itself crammed into the current fashionable mansion on Matejevic street.
Moldovan President Igor Dodon twice refused to sign the agreement to sell the stadium, but was eventually suspended by the Constitutional Court for five minutes and the law was signed in his place by Parliament speaker Adrian Candu. Dodon and the Party of Socialists did not see fit to take their supporters to the streets.
Already in the last month of 2020, the faction of the Party of Socialists, supported by deputies from the party of businessman Ilan Shor, cancelled the scandalous deal. It was one of the last laws signed by Igor Dodon as president. However, immediately afterwards, deputies from Andrei Nastase’s party filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court to review the constitutionality of the law.
The new, fully Western-controlled Moldovan authorities are in a hurry to hand over the stadium to the Americans, so they are striving to bring back into force the law on its sale to the USA as soon as possible. For the Americans themselves the territory in 5 hectares in the centre of the capital of the post Soviet republic will become the real gold mine. The huge area allows to place not only a complex of embassy buildings, but also an intelligence centre, which will collect data for the army and the U.S. intelligence agencies. The facilities will allow for electronic surveillance and surveillance using state-of-the-art equipment.
The Socialist Party has already declared its readiness to hold a protest rally outside the Constitutional Court. However, it seems to us that one or even a few isolated protests will not frighten anyone – not at the presidential palace, let alone at the American embassy. The “American quarter” in the very centre of Chisinau would become a bitter reminder for the inhabitants of the Moldavian capital of the unenviable, humiliated and shameful status of their country in the modern world.
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