Former Moldovan president Igor Dodon has been detained by Moldovan authorities on corruption charges, state television reports.
State television channel Moldova 1 and Russian state news agency RIA both reported the detention, citing senior anti-corruption prosecutor Elena Kazakov.
The prosecutor’s office and a representative of Dodon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Kremlin earlier on Tuesday said it was concerned at media reports that Dodon had been detained, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling on the Moldovan authorities to respect his rights.
Russian officials said the Kremlin was “naturally alarmed that such a practice and persecution once again affects those who advocate the development of friendly relations with Russia for mutual benefit”.
Moldovan investigators had been searching Dodon’s home, an official of the pro-Russian opposition party told Reuters on Tuesday.
Socialist Party Deputy chairman Vlad Batrincea said he believed the actions of the investigators were a politically motivated move by authorities loyal to President Maia Sandu, who replaced Dodon as president in 2020.
“This is a dangerous game, those who go against the opposition want to provoke destabilisation,” Batrincea said at a briefing.
The searches were related to an investigation into corruption and treason among other charges, Russia’s Interfax and RIA news agencies quoted prosecutors as saying.
A representative of Sandu, who is currently in the United States to celebrate her 50th birthday, did not respond to a request for comment.
with reporting from DPA