Initial Imposition of EU Sanctions

The European Union initially imposed sanctions against Moldova on from February 27th 2008 to February 27th 2009, implemented by Council Decision 2008/160/CFSP. This sanctions regime was extended until February 22nd 2010 but suspended by Council Decision 2010/105/CFSP.

All sanctions imposed against Moldova relate to the Transnistrian region. Sanctions have been imposed upon the leadership of the Transnistrian region for preventing progress in arriving at a political settlement in the region and against those people responsible for a campaign against Latin-script schools in the region.

UN Sanctions

There are currently no UN sanctions regarding Moldova.

Form of the Sanctions

Travel bans

Criteria for Inclusion in Targeted Measures

  • Those responsible for obstructing political settlement in the Transnistrian region.
  • Those responsible for organising a campaign against Latin-script schools in the region, designed to intimidate the schools and force them to close.

Provisions in Force

Council Decision 2010/573/CFSP (OJ L 253, 28 September 2010)

  • EU-wide travel bans imposed against President Igor Smirnov and other ministers of his regime including his two sons Vladimir and Oleg
  • EU-wide travel bans imposed against 5 Moldovan officials responsible for education issues.

Amended by Council Decision 2011/641/CFSP (29 September 2011)

Amended by Council Decision 2012/170/CFSP (23 March 2012) sanctions against President Igor Smirnov, sons and ministers continued even after the end of his tenure as Head of State.

Amended by Council Decision 2012/527/CFSP (28 September 2012) sanctions against former President Igor Smirnov, sons and ministers lifted.

Amended: Council Decision 2013/477/CFSP (27 September 2013) extended restrictive measures against those responsible for the anti-Latin-script schools campaign until 30th September 2014

Amended by Council Decision 2014/381/CFSP (24 June 2014)

Amended by Council Decision 2014/751/CFSP (OJ L 311, 31 October 2014) to extend the measures until 31 October 2015

Case Law

There is no specific case law on sanctions relating to Moldova.

In Ilasçu v Moldova and Russia (48787/99) [2005] 40 EHRR 46, the European Court of Human Rights recognised that the Council of the European Union had taken a decision in February 2003 to exclude President Igor Smirnov and 16 other Transnistrian leaders from the EU for one year. In response, the Transnistrian authorities declared senior Moldovan leaders, including the President and Prime Minister, “personae non gratae”

In Catan v Moldova (43370/04) [2013] 57 EHRR 4; [2013] ELR 197, children and parents complained about Russia’s support of the Transnistrian authorities who had taken action forbidding the use of the Latin alphabet in schools. The authorities had forcibly evicted both pupils and teachers from targeted schools. The European Court of Human Rights found that these actions constituted a breach of A2P1 to the Convention as well as Article 8. Additionally, Russia, by virtue of its continued military and economic support for Transnistria had acted in breach of A2P1.

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