Ukraine: “Concerned”, Moldova summons the Russian ambassador

Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador on Friday to protest against a Russian general’s statements that Moscow wants to control southern Ukraine to gain access to the breakaway region of Moldova.

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The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moldova had expressed to the ambassador its “deep concern” over the statements of Russian General Rustam Minkayev.

Moldova “considers these statements are baseless and contradict Russia’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country,” the ministry added.

“Moldova is a neutral country,” he added, calling on Moscow to “respect this principle.”

Moldova’s concern relates to statements by General Rustam Minkayev, deputy commander of the forces of the Central Russian Military District, who said on Friday that Moscow wanted “full control of Donbass (east) and southern Ukraine”.

According to Mr. Minkayev, the control of southern Ukraine should make it possible in particular to help the pro-Russian separatists in Transdniestria, who have ruled the Moldavian territories bordering Western Ukraine since 1992. A Russian military garrison already exists.

General Minkayev emphasized that “the control of southern Ukraine is also a passage to Transdniestria, where there are also cases of persecution of the Russian-speaking population.”

These statements are enough to alarm the Moldovan authorities, as Moscow justified its invasion of Ukraine by accusing the Kyiv government in particular of persecuting the Russian-speaking population.

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Complex relations between Russia and Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, soured after the election of pro-European President Maya Sandu in 2020.

Transdniestria, which broke away from Moldova after a brief civil war following the collapse of the Soviet Union, has a population of about 500,000 and is supported by Moscow both economically and militarily.

It is not recognized as a country by the international community.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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