One day after accusing Ukraine of stationing soldiers close to the country’s border, Russia warned the West on Friday that any measures that endangered its peacekeepers in Moldova’s breakaway Transdniestria region would be seen as an attack on it.
The warning comes as worries about a potential Russian threat to Moldova’s independence, a small former Soviet country bordering Ukraine, have grown. This month, Moldova’s pro-European president Maia Sandu alleged a plan by Moscow to topple the country’s administration.
On Thursday, Russia accused Kyiv of planning to invade Transdniestria, which borders Ukraine. The mainly Russian-speaking territory broke from Moldova’s control in 1990, a year before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“We warn the United States, NATO member states and their Ukrainian wards against taking yet another reckless step,” Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday.
“Any action that threatens their security will be considered under international law as an attack on the Russian Federation.”
Moldova’s defence ministry has dismissed Russia’s claims of a Ukrainian troop build-up.
“We note that there are currently no direct threats to the state’s military security… If possible threats to the security of the country are identified, the ministry will immediately inform the public,” the Moldovan ministry said.
“The false information being spread is intended to cause panic and confusion among the population on both banks of the Dniester river. We urge citizens to remain calm and receive information only from official sources.”