Russia has rejected accusations of efforts to destabilize Moldova

Russia has rejected accusations of efforts to destabilize Moldova

Russia has denied accusations of attempts to destabilize Moldova

President of Moldova Maia Sandu, February 10, 2023.

Moscow/Chisinau/Belgrade – Moscow today rejected claims by Moldovan President Maia Sandu that Russia is trying to destabilize Moldova. This was reported by the TASS agency with reference to the statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sandu said on Monday that Russia wants to carry out a violent coup in the country, the aim of which should be to remove the current pro-Western establishment. Serbia has denied that its citizens were involved in the attempted riots.

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In a televised speech on Monday, pro-Western President Sandu said that the Moldovan authorities had confirmed the information about the planned coup, which was passed on to them by Ukraine. They talk about the fact that Russia is planning, among other things, to use people from abroad for protests that are supposed to lead to the overthrow of the pro-Western government in Chisinau. She mentioned people from Russia, Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro by name. According to her, Moscow is also counting on the help of the pro-Russian opposition in Moldova.

“These accusations are completely baseless and without evidence,” Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Marija Zakharova said in a statement. According to her, Chisinau's claim is intended to “justify its own illegal actions” and “to divert attention from the internal problems” of the country. She also accused Ukraine of trying to “draw Chisinau into a tough clash with Russia”.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić on Monday denied that his citizens were involved in an attempt to destabilize Moldova and called on Chisinau to provide evidence for its claims. He also said that there is a lot of fake news circulating on the international scene and that Serbia will not allow it to damage the country's reputation, Tanjug agency reported.

A group of 12 Partizan Belgrade football club fans who arrived in the country were expelled from Moldova today for a match with the Transnistrian team Sheriff Tiraspol. Moldovan authorities refused to let them in on Monday and ordered their deportation. On the recommendation of security forces, they also ordered Thursday's European Conference League match in Chisinau to be played without spectators, Tanjug said.

Moldova, home to about 2.6 million people, is wedged between Ukraine and Romania. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, it has come under enormous pressure, heightened by fears that Russia could expand its invasion into Moldovan territory in order to add the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria to Moscow-controlled territories.

Already since the beginning of the war in Ukraine almost Moldova has been trying to establish closer relations with its Western partners. Last June, the European Union granted Moldova, as well as Ukraine, the status of a candidate country.