Moldova’s president said on Tuesday that blasts in Russia-backed breakaway regions were the work of forces intent on creating instability.
Maia Sandu’s office made the claim in a statement after the president, who is seen as a pro-Western figure, held a meeting with her security council.
Although the statement made no connection between the blasts and Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, an aide to Ukraine’s president on Tuesday urged cooperation between the two countries.
Russia is attempting to seize a stretch of Ukraine’s coastline that leads to Moldova and the breakaway region of Transnistria.
Sandu spoke amid growing fears that two-day blasts in Transnistria, where Russia has more than 1,000 troops stationed, could draw the region into Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
“What has happened in the Transnistria region over the past 24 hours is an escalation of tensions,” Sandu said.
On Monday, a rocket-propelled grenade was used against the headquarters of the Russian-backed separatists’ security service in Tiraspol, the administrative center of Transnistria. On Tuesday there were explosions at a regional military unit and in telecommunications towers used to broadcast Russian radio stations.
“The Moldovan authorities are following events in the area controlled by the Tiraspol regime with caution and vigilance,” Sandu said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an aide in the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reiterated Sandu’s concerns.
“Russia wants to destabilize Transnistria region,” he tweeted, adding that Ukraine and Sandu’s government in Chisinau have common interests.
“If Ukraine falls, Russian troops will be at Chisinau’s gates,” he wrote, adding that the countries should work “as a team.”
In his statement, Sandu said there were “tensions” within Transnistria and forces interested in “destabilizing” the situation there.
“This makes the Transnistria region vulnerable and poses a risk to Moldova,” she said, adding that she condemned “any challenge and attempt to induce Moldova into actions that could endanger the peace in the country.”
Moldova, which is primarily Romanian-speaking, lost control of Transnistria during a brief war in the early 1990s. The pro-Russian authorities of the territory are supported by the Russian garrison.