Thursday, November 5, 2009

Socor saddles up a new horse

Vladimir Socor, the Omega news agency's favourite 'western analyst' and long-time afficionado of Moldova's discredited Christian Democrat party, appears to have found himself a new object of affection.  Here's an excerpt from yesterday's "Eurasia Daily Monitor" published by the Jamestown Foundation:

"Lupu is a thoroughly Western-oriented politician; and his Democratic Party’s leadership team is undoubtedly the most European in terms of cultural and professional background among AEI’s four parties. Lupu and his team are untainted by national irredentism, the Soviet heritage, or the post-Soviet oligarchic politics.

I agree that Lupu himself is a very smart and professional politician, and that his English and French language skills endear him in western capitals, but I would like to understand why a 'thoroughly western-oriented politician' keeps running off to Moscow and wants to get into bed with the (totalitarian) United Russia Party?

As for 'being European in terms of cultural and professional background' I think this claim could be contested by the PLDM, which boasts among its ranks the best prime minister, foreign minister and justice minister that Moldova has ever had.

'Irredentism' is Socor's way of making 'reunification with Romania' (and those who promote it) sound like a nasty disease.  In this his views are no different to those of the Communist Party.

As for 'Soviet heritage' and 'post-Soviet oligarghic policies', if these two monikers don't describe DP founder Dumitru Diacov and some of his hangers-on, then it is difficult to see who they would apply to...

A little further up the article Socor indirectly accuses the AIE of corruption:

"AEI parties are rapidly accumulating “administrative resources” and building up new clienteles."

In the same paragraph he cleverly refers to two elements of the AIE by name, namely the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrat Party, ensuring that the corruption slur sticks to them rather than the other two members of the alliance.

Socor seems to have received three messages from his masters in Moscow:

  1. The Christian Democrat Party is a dead horse, so stop flogging it.
  2. The horse we want you to back is the Democratic Party.
  3. Please do everything you can to undermine the real threats to our influence - the PL and the PLDM.


  1. Z, it's almost always clear from Socor's writing that he has an axe to grind of one sort or another, or that he's partisan, taking sides, whatever, and I seem to recall reports linking him to Tkachuk, but (with all due respect, and I mean that seriously) I don't think it's at all correct to suggest that he takes or passes along messages from Moscow. Read some of his stuff on Georgia and other parts of the former USSR, and do some background reading on Socor's organization.

  2. Lyndon,

    How then do you explain his unstinting support for the PPCD and PCRM, even when it is completely obvious that these two parties were being used to further Russia's aims in Moldova? How do you explain his distate for the liberal politicians, many of whom are so new on nthe scene that they haven't had a chance to make enemies?

    I am of the view that Socor, like his friend Iurie Rosca, is playing a long game on Russia's payroll. The Russian security services are expert at psychological warfare and not everything is what it seems to be.

  3. In part I might explain it by pointing out that your assessment of the PCRM as a tool of Russia was not "completely obvious" to anyone for a number of years during which they were in power. As for an opinionated commentator's distaste for upstart politicians, I think it could be explained simply - he regards himself as an O.G. who has been in the game a long time, and the newer politicians 1) probably don't give him the access that the PCRM does, because they (perhaps rightfully) don't entirely trust him; and 2) have put out accusations that he is a "paid advisor" to Voronin. To be clear, I'm not defending the guy or saying he's objective, not by any means, I'm just saying that I think you may be off in trying to pinpoint the source of the positions he takes.

    We're all entitled to our views, of course, and I've been known to subscribe to some conspiracy theories myself. But having seen Socor speak in DC on several occasions (about MD, but also about Georgia), I think you'd have to be making one of those extreme arguments along the lines of "he's paid by Russia to be a caricature of a Russophobe to make all critics of Russia look bad." I have heard this argument advanced, for example, about the "La Russophobe" blog, and in that case it is almost believable. With respect to Socor, as I said, just take a look at the Jamestown website, the organization's origins, board members, etc.

    I am with you on Rosca, though.

  4. I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist either, I'm just having trouble understanding the guy. He has done an awful lot of damage to the cause of Moldovan democracy in recent years (e.g. through his conditioning of US and EU officials) and the only way I could explain this was through hidden connections.

    I admit, however, that I may be wrong, although in this case I have a puzzle to solve.