President Dodon’s Brother Becomes Co-owner of Another Russian Company

In July 2019, President Igor Dodon’s younger brother, Alexandru Dodon, became business partners with Igor Chaika, the son of Russia’s Prosecutor General. Now, he appears to be deepening his ties to Chaika, as the two have become partners in another business venture – a new company founded just two days before President Dodon’s official visit to Moscow. 

On September 2, Russian media group RBC reported that Alexandru Dodon had become a co-owner of the Russian industrial waste management company Promyshlenny Ekologichesky Operator (Industrial Ecological Operator – PEO), after acquiring ten percent of its shares. In doing so, he was once again partnering with Russian businessman Igor Chaika.

Chaika owns forty percent of the company’s shares along with another partner, who holds the remaining fifty percent. 

The company, which is planning to work in Russia’s Central Federal District, was founded on August 30. Chaika confirmed to RBC that Alexandru Dodon had invested in the company, but refused to reveal any more details about the transaction. 

The timing of the business deal drew attention because it took place just two days before Alexandru Dodon’s brother – President of Moldova Igor Dodon – made an official visit to Moscow. The ongoing business relationship between Alexandru Dodon and Igor Chaika has also attracted attention because of Chaika’s connections to the Kremlin, as the youngest son of Russia’s Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika. 

The two businessmen began working together in July 2019, when Alexandru Dodon first partnered with Igor Chaika by acquiring 15 percent of the shares in the Russian construction company Archplay Development. Chaika then announced that Dodon would lead the company’s construction department.

According to Balkan Insight, Chaika founded Archplay Development in 2017 and currently holds 45 percent of its shares. Reportedly, the company is currently planning a large-scale luxury development in Moscow and the Moscow region. 

In addition to being the brother of Moldova’s President, Alexandru Dodon is a former assistant of the Socialist Party Deputy Radu Mudreac, as well as the former deputy director of Moldova’s Agency for Veterinary Health and Animal Food Safety (now part of the country’s National Agency for Food Safety). He was appointed to this position during the period when Igor Dodon was the head of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (2006 to 2009). 

In 2009, the then director of Moldova’s Anticorruption Center, Viorel Chetraru, accused the two brothers of involvement in schemes to monopolize the meat market. Both men dismissed the charges. 

During the 2015 local elections in Moldova, Alexandru Dodon aspired to become mayor of the district center of  Călărași. And although he had the support of the Socialist Party (led by his brother), he only accumulated 13.7 percent of the vote – an amount insufficient for reaching the second round of voting. He did, however, manage to become a district councilor in Călărași.

Although Alexandru Dodon and Igor Chaika officially partnered during the Archplay Development deal in July 2019, the “Chaika-Dodon bond” goes back further than that. At the end of the February 2019 Moldovan parliamentary campaign, Igor Chaika was credited with negotiating the release of two Moldovan pilots who had been held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan since the beginning of November 2015. 

The press wrote that the public organization Business Russia (Delovaya Rossiya), along with one of its co-presidents (Chaika) were behind the successful negotiations. Meanwhile, during the electoral campaign in Moldova, Igor Dodon suggested that the two hostages were released thanks to his involvement. 

According to the organization’s website, their current and future economic transactions show involvement with various enterprises across Russia and the Eastern European region, including in Moldova.  During Dodon’s presidency, Igor Chaika has also come to Chișinău and Comrat on several occasions, to plan businesses in Moldova’s Autonomous Territorial Unit of Găgăuzia, as well as in the Transnistria region. He has also been planning important Russian investments on the left side of the Nistru River.

Author: Cristina Dulea
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