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Moscow set its sights on Moldova last week when a Russian general said its goal was to gain “complete control” not only of eastern Ukraine, but areas along its southern Black Sea.
This will allow Russia better access to Transnistria, an unrecognized breakaway state of Moldova with sympathetic relations with Russia.
“We are concerned about the escalation of tension in Transnistria, where there have been several incidents of bombing in recent days and bombings of social facilities and infrastructure,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. “We consider these acts of terrorism aimed at destabilizing the situation,” he added.
Zakharova’s comments came after news of explosions in the breakaway region this week, one of which reportedly hit the Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol, the region’s capital.
A second target was reported Tuesday after radio antennas broadcasting Russian programs were hit in Mayak, a town about seven miles from Moldova’s border with Ukraine.
But despite a history of strained relations, Moldova and Transnistria have had a treaty agreement since 1992 and evidence of a thaw in the Cold War mentality has been. Clear Even earlier this year.
As part of the 1992 peace treaty, Russia maintained a presence in Transnistria with approximately 1,500 Russian soldiers stationed there as “peacekeepers”.
The similarities shared between the breakaway region of Moldova and the Ukrainian People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass – which served as Putin’s justification for his illegal invasion in February – are of great concern.
Reports surfaced This week reports that officials in the region suspect Russia was behind the attacks in Transnistria as a disguise to support an illegal second invasion.
“We strongly condemn attempts to involve Transnistria in what is happening in Ukraine,” Russia’s spokesman said on Thursday. “Every now and then you hear exciting statements from there about the readiness of Russian peacekeepers, Tiraspol airport, and Transnistrian recruits for some kind of offensive action.
“But all these statements do not cast doubt on the fact that the situation on the left bank of the Dniester, including the security zone, is reliably under the control of the joint peacekeeping forces,” she added.
Zakharova’s comments reflect the sentiments expressed by Russia in the run-up to its February invasion, which she called a “special military operation.”
Putin claimed that his forces would liberate his Russian supporters who claim, without evidence, that they have been repressed by the regional authorities.