Russia on Thursday accused Ukraine of stepping up its plan to invade Transnistria, a Moscow-backed separatist in the region of Moldova. The Russian Defense Ministry statement was released on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
Since the all-out offensive into Ukraine began a year ago, the Kremlin has been accused of increasing tensions in Transnistria to destabilize Ukraine and Moldova.
“The Kyiv regime is stepping up preparations for an invasion of Transnistria, Moldova,” the statement said.
The Defence Ministry claimed the “invasion” would be launched
“in response to an alleged offensive by Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria”.
“The planned provocations carried out by the Ukrainian authorities pose a direct threat to Russian peacekeepers legally stationed in Transnistria,” Moscow said.
“Russian forces will respond to the threat of provocation by the Ukrainian side in an appropriate manner,” the statement added.
The Moldovan government said on Thursday that;
“National authorities have not confirmed the information released this morning by the Russian Ministry of Defense.”
“We ask for calm and request information from official and credible sources of the Republic of Moldova”.
Earlier this month, Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Russia of plotting to violently overthrow the government. They claimed they would do this by using saboteurs posing as anti-government protesters.
Transnistria is a small area bordering Ukraine and separated from Moldova in 1992 after a brief war. Russian soldiers have been stationed there ever since.
Moldova, a poor country of 2.6 million people has in recent years turned toward the West, angering Moscow.