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Moldova’s Constitutional Court banned a pro-Russian party this week, a verdict that comes amid accusations that Moscow is attempting to overthrow the country’s pro-West government, Al Jazeera reported.

The court ruled that the Shor Party’s activities were “unconstitutional,” after the group organized a series of anti-government demonstrations in recent months to protest the rising cost of living and the policies of President Maia Sandu.

The government described the protests as “another attempt by Russia to destabilize the situation in Moldova” – a view also held by Ukraine, the United States and other Western nations.

Moldovan authorities warned in March that Russian intelligence had been using the demonstrations to destabilize the country, the BBC added.

The Shor party criticized the verdict and pledged to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. It has previously denied allegations that it sought to destabilize Moldova, and instead accused Sandu of leading the poor eastern European country into bankruptcy.

Shor is led by Ilan Shor, a fugitive businessman who fled to Israel in 2019 after being convicted of fraud and money laundering.

Following the court’s ruling, Shor lawmakers will retain their seats in the legislature as independents, but without the right to join other parliamentary factions.

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