Rising Tensions in Moldova Over Ukraine
On Tuesday, thousands of demonstrators in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, demanded President Maia Sandu’s resignation. It was the second time in two weeks that the pro-Russian opposition party Shor was able to mobilise so many people. They called on the pro-Western government to use subsidies to squash energy prices and keep their country out of the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
Fears of the former Soviet republic of Moldova becoming involved in the war have also increased recently as Russia has been accusing Ukraine almost every day of seeking to carry out a military provocation in the breakaway region of Transnistria. The self-proclaimed Republic of East Moldova borders Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned at the beginning of the week: “Of course, the situation in Transnistria is the subject of our greatest attention and cause for concern. The unsettled situation is fueled from the outside. We know that our opponents in the Kyiv regime and the European countries are provoking different things are able to. We know that very well and are aware of it.”
Russia has stationed soldiers in the Transnistria region, split off from Moldova. The Russian Foreign Ministry recently clarified that attacks on the troops there would be treated as an attack on the Russian Federation. The warning was also explicitly addressed to the US and the other NATO member states.
Moldova has consistently denied Russian allegations that Ukraine plans to take military action against the breakaway republic. There are no threats to the military security of Transnistria, according to the Defence Ministry in Chisinau. Moldova, in turn, accused Russia of wanting to overthrow the pro-Western government, which Moscow immediately denied.
In this mixed situation, former Moldovan President Igor Dodon, known for his pro-Russia stance, is heating up the situation by picking up on Russian allegations and warning Ukraine against military intervention in Transnistria.