Moldova’s president on Tuesday said that explosions in Russian-backed breakaway regions were the work of forces seeking to create instability.
Maia Sandu’s office made the claim in a statement after the president, seen as a pro-western figure, held a meeting with her security council.
Although the statement made no connection between the explosions and Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, an adviser to Ukraine’s president on Tuesday urged co-operation between the two countries.
Russia is seeking to capture a strip of Ukraine’s coastline leading to Moldova and the breakaway Transnistria region.
Sandu spoke amid deepening fears that two days of explosions in Transnistria, where Russia has more than 1,000 troops, could pull the region into Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
“What is happening in the last 24 hours in the Transnistrian region is an escalation of tensions,” Sandu said.
On Monday, a rocket-propelled grenade was used against the security service headquarters of Russian-backed separatists in Tiraspol, Transnistria’s administrative centre. On Tuesday, there were blasts at a regional military unit and telecommunications towers used to broadcast Russian radio.
“The Moldovan authorities are following with caution and vigilance the events taking place in the territory controlled by the Tiraspol regime,” Sandu said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser in the office of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, echoed Sandu’s concerns.
“Russia wants to destabilise the Transnistrian region,” he tweeted, adding that Ukraine and Sandu’s government in Chisinau had common interests.
“If Ukraine falls, Russian troops will be at Chisinau’s gates,” he wrote, adding that the countries should work “as a team”.
Sandu’s statement said there were “tensions” within Transnistria and forces interested in “destabilising” the situation there.
“This makes the Transnistrian region vulnerable and poses risks to the Republic of Moldova,” she said, adding that she condemned “any challenges and attempts to lure the Republic of Moldova into actions that could jeopardise peace in the country”.
Moldova, which is mainly Romanian-speaking, lost control of Transnistria during a brief war in the early 1990s. The territory’s pro-Russian authorities are supported by the Russian garrison.