The Kremlin on Monday accused Moldova of “anti-Russian hysteria” after the prime minister made statements calling for the demilitarization of the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria, at the heart of tensions reignited by the conflict in Ukraine.
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On Thursday, during a session of Moldova’s parliament, new Prime Minister Dorin Recean reiterated that it was “important to continue our efforts to get Russian troops out of Transnistria.”
“The Transnistrian zone must be demilitarized,” he stressed. On Saturday, the new spokesman for the Moldovan government, Daniel Voda, told him that this demilitarization was “fundamental” to ensure the country’s “peaceful reintegration”.
Asked about the comments, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that relations between Moscow and Chisinau were “very, very strained”.
“The Moldovan government kind of insists on everything that is anti-Russian and also indulges in anti-Russian hysteria,” added Mr. Peskov during his daily press briefing.
“Of course I would advise our Moldovan colleagues to be extremely careful,” warned Dmitri Peskov in her comments.
Tensions are running high between Moscow and the pro-European Moldovan authorities, who last week accused Russia of planning a coup d’état in Moldova, allegations that Russian diplomacy dismissed.
Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million, Moldova, with a large Russian minority, has taken a pro-Western turn in recent years, drawing the wrath of Moscow.
Transnistria, an industrial region bordering Ukraine, de facto broke away from Moldova in 1992 after a brief war. Since then, Russian soldiers have been stationed there, and this area has large stockpiles of weapons.
After the massive Russian attack on Kiev in February 2022, the Kremlin was accused of increasing the risk of new clashes in Transnistria in order to destabilize Ukraine and Moldova.