Ukrainian Foreign Ministry accuses Financial Times of fakes about arms smuggling to Moldova
The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, accused the Financial Times of disinformation. He wrote about this on February 16 on his Facebook page. The base is an article published on February 6 under the headline: “Prime Minister of Moldova calls for increased EU assistance to combat arms smuggling from Ukraine.”
Nikolenko said that the quotes of Natalia Gavrilitsa, now the former prime minister of Moldova, do not correspond to the headline of the Financial Times article.
At the beginning of the article, it is noted that Gavrylitsa told the publication that against the backdrop of the war, her country is “observing an increase” in the smuggling of weapons, people, and goods from Ukraine.
Gavrilitsa says the following: “We do not want to become a country where security threats are growing, or human trafficking or smuggling is intensifying.” Also, the ex-premier said that Moldova needs the support of the EU to “not allow the smuggling network to grow”.
The article’s author notes that “illegal smuggling of weapons, people and goods from Ukraine has been a major concern for EU countries since the Russian invasion in February last year. And this has been exacerbated by the huge amount of weapons that have been brought into the country over the past 11 months, as well as the increase in the number of people who are seeking to leave.”
In response, according to the article, Brussels created a “support center” in Moldova in an attempt to monitor and counteract attempts at illegal trade. Gavrilitsa said in an interview that this initiative achieved “successful efforts in the context of stopping the smuggling of weapons and people.”
“This material from the Financial Times is yet another misinformation. Its goal is to discredit international military assistance to Ukraine. Russia is investing numerous resources in preventing the supply of Western weapons to our country against the backdrop of a new offensive by the Russian army. The Financial Times article was supposed to increase the fear in the West that the weapons being transferred to Ukraine will turn against the Western countries themselves, falling into the hands of criminal elements,” Nikolenko believes.
He emphasized that the article’s author did not provide evidence of arms smuggling. “Moreover, we have not received any confirmed information or concrete facts from the Moldovan side about the smuggling of weapons from Ukraine,” the official added.
Nikolenko demanded that the Financial Times immediately conduct an editorial investigation.