Transnistria hails arrest of Ukraine ‘agents’
Moldova’s Russian-dominated enclave of Transnistria last week claimed to have thwarted a Ukrainian assassination attempt on its leader.
Transnistria’s security ministry said two Ukrainian agents had been charged with terrorism in an attempted plot against the enclave’s president, Vadim Krasnoselsky, and other figures.
Prosecutor Anatoly Guretsky said the plan was to detonate a car bomb near the presidential cortege in the capital, Tiraspol.
It blamed Ukraine’s SBU security service without providing evidence while the agency said the claims came from the Kremlin.
“Any statements by representatives… of the fake ‘People’s Republic of Transnistria’ regarding the participation of the SBU in the preparation of a terrorist attack should be considered exclusively as a provocation orchestrated by the Kremlin,” the agency stated.
Transnistria is a slim strip of land between Moldova and Ukraine which hosts around 1,700 Russian troops. Russia says any threat to Transnistria’s security will be seen as an attack on Russia.
Dominated by Russian speakers, Transnistria proclaimed independence from Moldova in 1990 as the Soviet Union was dismantling.
A short separatist war broke out in Transnistria, which has about 470,000 inhabitants, and under a ceasefire in 1992 Russian troops were allowed to remain in the enclave as so-called peacekeepers.
Moldova has a pro-western government but fears Russia is plotting a coup, while the Kremlin claims Ukraine is planning to invade Transnistria.
Moldova, which has a population of 2.6 million, is one of Europe’s poorest countries and has been deeply affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Last June Moldova and Ukraine were awarded European Union candidate status, angering Moldova’s pro-Russian parties.
Moldova faces an energy crisis with its crumbling Soviet-era power network and problems with Russian gas supplies.
Rising inflation and a flood of Ukrainian refugees have created further problems, sparking protests by pro-Russian parties.
Transnistria remains a destabilising influence for Moldova and Ukraine. The new Moldovan administration has made demilitarising the enclave a priority.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly revoked a 2012 decree committing Russia to finding a solution for Transnistria based on respect for Moldovan sovereignty and borders.
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