Moldova dismissed on Thursday an accusation made by Russia’s defense ministry that Ukraine planned to invade the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniestria after staging a false flag operation, and urged calm.
According to the Russian news agency RIA, Ukraine, which borders Moldova, intends to stage an attack by ostensibly Russian forces from Transdniestria as a pretext for the invasion. Russia maintains troops in the secessionist region.
The TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin as saying separately that the West had instructed Moldova’s government in Chisinau to stop all interaction with Transdniestria’s Moscow-backed authorities.
The Moldovan government issued a statement on the Telegram messaging app saying state authorities “do not confirm” the Russian defence ministry’s allegations.
“We call for calm and for information to be received (by the public) from official and credible sources of the Republic of Moldova,” it said. “Our institutions cooperate with foreign partners and in the case of threats to the country, the public will be promptly informed.”
Moldova’s foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday that the tiny former Soviet republic, which also borders NATO member Romania, was prepared for a “full spectrum of threats” from Russia.
“Our institutions have planned for responses along the full spectrum of threats,” he said. “Of course we have limited means, but at the same time we are not alone in this.”
President Maia Sandu, who wants her country to join the European Union, accused Moscow this month of planning a coup to topple Moldova’s leadership. Moscow denied the allegation.
The mainly Russian-speaking region broke away from then-Soviet Moldova in 1990. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, pro-Russian separatists fought a war with Moldovan government forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week it was “obvious” that Ukraine would not be Russia’s last stop after invading Ukraine, and that the Kremlin was thinking about ways to “strangle” Moldova.