Moldova rejected the Russian claim about the upcoming Ukrainian provocation in Transnistria

Moldova rejected the Russian claim about the upcoming Ukrainian provocation in Transnistria

Moldova rejected Russian claims of planned Ukrainian provocation in Transnistria

Illustration photo – Moldovan President Maia Sandu, left, and new Prime Minister Dorin Recean, February 10, 2023. 

Chisinau/Moscow – Russia's Defense Ministry has accused Ukraine of planning an armed provocation in a false flag operation in the Moldovan separatist region of Transnistria. The Moldovan government rejected Moscow's claims and called for calm. Ukraine, which has been resisting Russian military aggression for a year, has not yet commented. Press agencies informed about it today.

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“According to available information, the Kiev regime is preparing an armed provocation against the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic in the near future, which will be carried out by units of the Ukrainian armed forces,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said, according to the Interfax agency. It used the name of an internationally unrecognized separatist region.

“As a pretext for the invasion, it is planned to stage an alleged offensive of Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria,” the Russian Ministry of Defense further claimed, according to which “Ukrainian saboteurs” are supposed to be dressed in the uniforms of Russian army soldiers. The Russian Ministry also said that it is closely monitoring the situation on the borders of Ukraine and Transnistria and is ready to react to any changes in the situation. The Russian army has troops in the predominantly Russian-speaking Transnistria, which broke away from Moldova in 1990, Reuters noted.

The Moldovan government subsequently de facto denied Moscow's information on the Telegram platform. “We do not confirm the information published this morning by the Russian Ministry of Defense,” the Moldovan government said. “We call for calm and call on the public to follow the official and reliable sources of the Republic of Moldova. Our institutions cooperate with foreign partners and immediately inform the public in case of danger to the country,” the statement reads.

The Russian side regularly announces similar “sabotage” by Kiev, none of such claims by Moscow have yet been confirmed, the BBC noted today on its Russian-language website. According to her, the Moldovan authorities consider Russia's actions as attempts to destabilize the situation in the country.

Moldova, home to about 2.6 million people, is wedged between Ukraine and Romania. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, it has come under enormous pressure, heightened by fears that Russia could expand its invasion into Moldovan territory to annex the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria to the Moscow-controlled territories. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moldova has also been trying to establish closer relations with its Western partners. Last June, the EU granted Moldova, as well as Ukraine, the status of a candidate country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said some time ago that Moscow plans to overthrow the democratic establishment in Moldova. The pro-Western Moldovan president, Maia Sandu, then accused Moscow of trying to carry out a violent coup in the country, which should aim to remove the country's pro-Western leadership. Russia has rejected the accusation.

Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu told Reuters on Wednesday that his country is ready for the “whole spectrum of threats” from Russia. “Our institutions have planned responses to the entire spectrum of threats. Of course, we have limited resources, but at the same time we are not alone,” he added.