Minister Popescu: The Republic of Moldova is prepared for “the entire spectrum of threats”

The Republic of Moldova is prepared for the “entire spectrum of threats”, Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said on Wednesday in an interview with Reuters, in the context of fears that Russia could intensify its attempts to destabilize the small country already affected by the war in neighboring Ukraine.

Tensions between Russia and the Republic of Moldova have increased in recent months after Russian missiles aimed at Ukraine entered Moldovan airspace, and the Chisinau authorities accused the Kremlin of fueling the anti-government protests, a fact it denies.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu last week accused Moscow of planning a coup to topple the government, while Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Monday that relations between the two countries were “very tense”.

In a telephone interview with Reuters, Nicu Popescu, the minister of foreign affairs and European integration of the Republic of Moldova, said that Chisinau is ready, thanks in part to the support of international partners.

“Our institutions have planned responses for the entire spectrum of threats. Of course, we have limited means, but we are not alone,” he said.

American President Joe Biden affirmed his support for the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova on Thursday, during a meeting with Maia Sandu in Warsaw.

Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine sparked fears that Moscow might try to occupy the breakaway Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, where it maintains a small military presence.

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Nicu Popescu claims, however, that Ukraine’s success in repelling the Russian forces diminished this possibility. “We do not believe that Moldova is in a position to be militarily threatened as long as Ukraine resists and keeps the front line away from us,” he said.

Last year, Russia denied that it wanted to intervene in the Republic of Moldova after the authorities in Transnistria claimed that they had been targeted by a series of attacks.

Popescu also said that his government was “constantly alert” to threats from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused flows of Ukrainian refugees into the Republic of Moldova.

Those threats included bomb threats and cyber attacks, he said. “In the last year, the risks and threats were dramatically higher than before”, said Popescu.

He added, however, that he has “full confidence” in the country’s security forces and Chisinau’s allies. “No matter what happens, we are not alone in this dangerous region,” Nicu Popescu emphasized.

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