The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied accusations that Russia is planning a coup in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. “Such allegations are absolutely baseless and unproven,” said ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. According to a ministry statement released today, she accused Ukraine and Moldova, which previously made the allegations, of a “smear campaign”.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu warned yesterday of Russian attempts to overthrow her country. Moscow’s plan includes inciting violent riots and attacks on Moldovan state institutions and disguising them as protests, the pro-European head of state said. Sandu based her statements on intelligence documents that Moldova recently received from neighboring Ukraine.
Concern about escalating conflict
Moscow has accused the leadership in Kiev of wanting to draw Moldova into the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Moldovan leadership is trying to divert attention from serious political problems at home, said Zakharova. “Russia does not pose a threat to Moldova’s security and supports the development of mutually beneficial and equal cooperation,” said the 47-year-old.
In view of Russia’s war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine, there have long been concerns in Moldova that conflict over the breakaway region of Transnistria could escalate. In the region bordering Ukraine, the leadership in Moscow supports pro-Russian separatists.