Moldova temporarily closes airspace, one day after warning of Russian coup plot

Sursa: Președinția Ucrainei / arhivă

Moldova on Tuesday temporarily closed its airspace for security reasons one day after its president accused Russia of trying to overthrow its government.

It later reopened its airspace for civil aviation after shutting it briefly for undosclosed reasons.

Russia’s plot, according to the president of the ex-Soviet republic, Maia Sandu, called for attacks on government facilities, hostage-taking, and other violent operations by gangs of saboteurs in order to put the country „at the disposal of Russia” and thwart its aspirations to join the European Union.

Responding Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Sandu’s claims as “absolutely unfounded and unsubstantiated.”

„They are built in the spirit of classical techniques that are often used by the United States, other Western countries and Ukraine,” Ms Zakharova said.

„First, accusations are made with reference to purportedly classified intelligence information that cannot be verified, and then they are used to justify their own illegal actions.”

Sandu’s claim came a week after neighboring Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country had intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova. Moldovan intelligence officials later said that they confirmed the allegations.

Zakharova charged that Ukrainian authorities made up the claim about a purported Russian plan to destabilize Moldova in order to draw it into a confrontation with Russia.

Since Russian troops rolled into Ukraine nearly a year ago, Moldova, a country of  about 2.6 million people located between Romania and Ukraine, has sought to forge closer ties with its Western partners. Last June, it was granted EU membership candidate status, the same day as Ukraine.


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