The mystery has been unraveled: Plahotniuc left for USA as... tourist!

The mystery has been unraveled: Plahotniuc left for USA as... tourist!
Source: jurnal.md Photo: pdm.md 06.05.2016 16:30
After several days of fog around the visit of the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc to the United States, period in which existed a multitude of versions and information about the oligarch's status in the RM delegation, finally the things have been clarified.

About the visit of the delegation from which take part the Democratic Party (PD) First Vice President, the Ministry of Economy and others, was found at the beginning of this week. As the information reached the public sight, immediately appeared a range of uncertainties on Plahotniuc's presence in delegation, especially that the media holding of the oligarch clattered for days, from morning till dawn, news in which Plahotniuc was appearing as the head of the convoy.

It is to note that the press service of the PD was the first that announced about the visit, on May 3. On the same day the PD, as well as Vladimir Plahotniuc, published a photo in which the oligarch appears together with Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. On both sides, modestly, stay the Ministry of Economy, Octavian Calmîc, and the former deputy premier Victor Osipov. There is no word about the “delegation”. On May 5, that means yesterday, the US Ambassador in the RM, James Pettit, declared that the visit of the delegation is official and that it was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that also sent a diplomatic note in this sense.

Contacted by the Jurnal.md, the press service of the MFA refused to tell us if it is true or not that the visit is official and that it was coordinated by the Ministry. The relations with the public service asked us to send an e-mail with the question, that will be redirected to the “responsible ones” and wait for an answer. Although have passed more than 24 hours, there is still no answer from the Ministry. On the other side, the Ministry of Economy got dizzy even more the public opinion. Octavian Calmîc, as well as the press service of the Ministry which he leaders, declared that the visit of the delegation is informal.

Meanwhile, the NewsMaker writes, referring to a diplomatic source, about the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs truly sent on April 25 a request to the USA Embassy.

In document, the Ministry asks the Embassy to contribute to the achievement of visa of A2 type to the USA by some members of the delegation: the former deputy premier Victor Osipov, current PD adviser, for the adviser of the Speaker Andrian Candu, Gheorghe Saghin, and for the economic adviser of the PD, Larisa Moraru.

It is to mention that the visa A2 is released for diplomats and foreign officials. In the request sent to the embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions that the visas are for “the members of a national delegation”, that will go to the USA “for economic and political consultations”. “The expenses for trip will be covered by the RM Parliament”, is said in the MFA note, cited by the NewsMaker.

But the names of Octavian Calmîc and of Vladimir Plahotniuc do not figure in the list of the ones who need visa and this is because those two already hold them. But, if the Minister of Economy has achieved the visa of the type A2 recently, the oligarch Plahotniuc owns touristic visa. Thus, the PD First Vice President went to the USA, as member of the delegation, as... tourist.

It is to mention also the declaration from today of the Atlantic Council, that specified that the meetings which the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc had at the Atlantic Council were informal and that all the declarations made during the meetings cannot be attributed to the Atlantic Council representatives.

“This week in Washington we had the opportunity to host a Moldovan delegation here that included among others Vlad Plahotniuc, Victor Osipov etc. I realize that this cause raised some questions in Moldova in the degree of controversies. So, I just wanted to set this record to be straight and clear that the Atlantic Council is a non-party and independent, not for profit policy organization. We are committed to stronger transatlantic relations and we have a particularly stronger program focused on Europe's East. But I also want to be clear that in our work we don't peak and choose. We don't determine leaders in the regions, we don't select or lean on favors of a particular leaders in the region. Throughout the period of collaboration with the Republic of Moldova, we had meetings with the whole political spectrum from your country. We, those from the Atlantic Council, want Moldova to be part of a larger community, from the transatlantic community, but in the end it depends on citizens, political leaders and civic society to bring the country to the right direction”, pointed the Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council.

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