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Moldova calls for calm over Russian claim of breakaway region being under threat

Transnistria, a region under Moscow's control, houses over 1600 Russian soldiers

maia_sandu Maia Sandu | Reuters

Moldova’s government has called for calm and dismissed a claim by Russia’s defence ministry that Ukraine plans to attack the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria after staging a false-flag operation.

“We call for calm and for information to be received (by the public) from official and credible sources of the Republic of Moldova,” the government said in a statement, Guardian reported.

“Our institutions cooperate with foreign partners and in the case of threats to the country, the public will be promptly informed,” adding that the government “do not confirm” the Russian defence ministry’s allegations.

Transnistria, a region under Moscow's control, which broke away from Moldova in the 1990s houses over 1600 Russian soldiers and has one of the largest arms depots within the former Soviet Union.

“The armed forces of the Russian Federation will adequately respond to the impending provocation of the Ukrainian side,” Russia's defence ministry said in a statement. Russia's claims that the region is under threat have escalated after Moldovan President Maia Sandu disclosed intelligence that a Russian plot is afoot to topple her. Sandu had raised the issue with senior EU and US leaders-- US President Joe Biden pledged support for her country.

Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Galuzin said the west had instructed Moldova’s government in Chisinau to stop all interaction with Transnistria’s Moscow-backed authorities. The Ukrainian government hasn't yet responded to accusations from the Russian defence ministry. 

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