Moldova PM says Russia is ‘extremely concerned’ about possible Russian invasion of Ukraine

Suspension

Moldova is “deeply concerned” by a possible Russian invasion as Russian forces prepare to step up attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine, near the border with the tiny country of 2.5 million people.

Moldova’s Prime Minister, Natalia Gavrilita, said the possibility that her country would be the next country to be invaded on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a hypothetical scenario at the moment”.

“But if military operations move further in the southwestern part of Ukraine and towards Odessa, of course we are very concerned,” she said in an interview on Sunday with CNN.

What is Transnistria, and will Russia advance towards Moldova?

Moldova, which remains militarily neutral, split from the Soviet Union and gained independence in 1991. It publicly condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and hundreds of thousands of refugees. ran away there across the border.

“We had to deal very quickly with the massive influx of refugees,” Gavrilita said, adding that the recent poll showed that a large majority of Moldova’s population were ready to receive more displaced people.

Russia controls the energy supply of Moldova, considered one of the world’s poorest, and the nation has long expressed concern about Russia’s next step in the conflict. Putin’s neighboring war poses the biggest direct challenge to Moldova to date, like the Washington Post mentioned earlier this year.

Gavrilita said Moldova after Ukraine is the hardest hit economically since the Russian invasion, citing high inflation.

Moldova was granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine last month.

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Both countries will have to pass long process They become members and are expected to meet certain criteria.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the move to grant candidate status bolstered Ukraine and Moldova “in the face of Russian aggression” on the side of the European Union and sent a strong signal to Putin.

EU leaders make Ukraine and Moldova candidates for membership

In April, a Russian military commander suggested that Moscow seek to create a corridor through southern Ukraine to Transnistria, A breakaway republic in eastern Moldova. Following these statements, Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador to express “deep concern”.

Gavrilita expressed concern on Sunday that Russian forces are “on the territory of the breakaway region of Transnistria,” and warned that other countries should be concerned about Putin’s ambitions.

“If a country can start a war of annexation without any regard for international law, then in that sense, no one is safe,” said the prime minister, who took office in August last year. “I think a lot of countries are concerned.”

Gavrilita added that Moldova is doing “everything it can to maintain peace and stability and to ensure that the fighting does not escalate.”

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