Russia sees no risks in Moldova’s breakaway region of Trans_Dniester, and wants a peaceful settlement of the situation there, Interfax news agency reported on Monday citing Russian deputy foreign minister Andrei Rudenko.
Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, on Friday was quoted by as saying full control over southern Ukraine would give it access to Trans-Dniester, a pro-Russian separatist slither of land in eastern Moldova, which caused alarm in the former Soviet republic.
He also claimed that the local Russian-speaking population was oppressed.
The Moldovan foreign ministry called Russian Ambassador Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov to express Moldova’s “deep concern” over the statements.
The ministry called the comments ‘baseless’ and in contradiction with Russia’s recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova.”
The predominantly Russian speaking „Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic” is not internationally recognized, not even by Russia.
Trans-Dniester is a narrow strip of land on the east bank of the Dniester River, sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova. The breakaway region seceded from Moldova after a brief military conflict in 1992.
Russia has about 1,500 soldiers stationed in the region and regularly conducts military maneuvers there.