BRUSSELS (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that his country has intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova
Speaking to European Union leaders in Brussels, Zelenskyy said he recently told Moldovan President Maia Sandu about the alleged scheme.
“I have informed her that we have intercepted the plan of the destruction of Moldova by the Russian intelligence,” Zelenskyy said through a translator.
Zelenskyy said the documents showed “who, when and how” the plan would “break the democracy of Moldova and establish control over Moldova.”
Zelenskyy said the plan was very similar to the one devised by Russia to take over Ukraine. He added that he did not know whether Moscow ultimately ordered the plan to be carried out.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov charged last week that the West was considering turning Moldova into “another Ukraine.” He alleged that the West backed the 2020 election of the pro-Western Sandu, claiming that she is eager to take the country into NATO, merge Moldova with Romania and “practically is ready for anything.”
In December, Moldova’s national intelligence agency warned that Russia could launch a new offensive this year with the aim of creating a land corridor through southern Ukraine to Moldova’s Moscow-backed breakaway region of Transnistria.
Transnistria broke away after a 1992 civil war but is not recognized by most countries. It extends roughly 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the eastern bank of the Dniester River to the country’s border with Ukraine. Russia has about 1,500 troops nominally as “peacekeepers” in the breakaway region.