Moldova’s President Maia Sandu on Monday accused Russia of plotting to use foreign „saboteurs” to overthrow her pro-EU government.
She said the „plot” would involve „protests by the so-called opposition”, aiming to „overthrow the constitutional order”.
She alleged Russia was planning to use „saboteurs with military background, camouflaged in civilian clothes, to undertake violent actions, attacks on state institutions and taking hostages”.
Russia’s war in neighboring Ukraine has put Moldova, located between Romania and Ukraine. under great strain. Since the invasion, the former Soviet republic of 2.6 million, has sought closer ties with Western partners.
Last week Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country’s intelligence service had uncovered a Russian plan to destroy Moldova.
Moldova became a candidate for EU membership last summer. It has struggled to cope with an influx of refugees from Ukraine and tensions the breakaway pro-Russian region of Trans-Dniester where some 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed.
Moldova which depends on Russia for natural gas has suffered power cuts in the past year, coinciding with Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The plot would involve citizens of Russia, Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia entering Moldova, she told a news conference.
She urged Moldova’s parliament to adopt laws to give the country’s Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) and prosecutors „the necessary means to fight more efficiently against national security threats”. She added that „the Kremlin’s attempts to bring violence to our country will fail”.
Moldova’s main Socialist and Communist opposition bloc has strong links with Moscow. President Sandu’s predecessor Igor Dodon – who ruled from 2016 to 2020 – pursued close ties with Russia.
Former Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita resigned on Friday saying when her government was elected in 2021, no one expected it would have to manage „so many crises caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine”.