Fears have grown in the past week that Moldova could be drawn into the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
Moldova sees no imminent threat of unrest spilling over from the war in Ukraine despite “provocations” by pro-Russian separatists in recent days, but has been making contingency plans for “pessimistic” scenarios, President Maia Sandu said on Wednesday.
Fears have grown in the past week that Moldova could be drawn into the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine, after pro-Russian separatists in a breakaway region reported a number of attacks and explosions there, which they blamed on Kyiv.
Ms. Sandu and her pro-Western government have blamed incidents in the breakaway region on “pro-war” separatist factions. She has also denounced comments by a Russian general that one of Moscow’s war aims was to seize Ukrainian territory to link up with the separatists in Moldova.
Kyiv has accused Moscow of trying to drag Moldova into the war. The Kremlin has expressed “concern” over the situation in Moldova’s separatist region, where Russia has stationed hundreds of troops since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Asked on Wednesday whether she was worried about unrest in coming days, Ms. Sandu said through an interpreter: “We see no imminent threat for the nearest future, but of course we have contingency plans for such scenarios, which are less optimistic or which are pessimistic.”
She repeated her description of the unrest as “provocations” by separatists, and said Moldova’s police were doing what they could on their side of the Dniestr river to ensure stability.
She was speaking at a press conference alongside Charles Michel, president of the European Union’s council of national leaders, who visited to express solidarity with a country on the frontline of the Ukraine war.
Mr. Michel said the EU was considering additional military support to Moldova this year, although he declined to provide details.