Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said that the UK plans to arm Moldova with modern weaponry to protect it against a potential invasion by Russian troops. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has led to fears in Europe that more countries will be pulled into the conflict. Moldova, which is not a NATO member, fears that it may be Putin’s next target after Kyiv.
However, the small nation may not be defenceless, as Mr Truss that the UK has begun discussions with international allies to arm Moldova with modern weapons that are up to “NATO standards”.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Truss said: “I would want to see Moldova equipped to Nato standard. This is a discussion we’re having with our allies.
“Putin has been absolutely clear about his ambitions to create a greater Russia – and just because his attempts to take Kyiv weren’t successful it doesn’t mean he’s abandoned those ambitions.”
Last month, the deputy Prime Minister of Moldova warned that the country was facing “a very dangerous new moment”.
Nicu Popescu aid: “Our analysis so far shows that there are tensions between different forces within the region interested in destabilising the situation and that makes the Transnistrian region vulnerable and creates risks for the Republic of Moldova.”
He noted that Moldova had received public and private assurances from Moscow “that Russia continues to recognise the territorial integrity of Moldova”.
However, he added that “given the situation in the region, we remain very alert”.
Fears are growing of conflict in Transnistria, which is a Russian speaking population of Moldova that has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 1992.
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During the Transnistria War between 1990 and 1992, Moscow offered military and diplomatic support to the rebels.
During the invasion, a senior Russian commander had noted that controlling southern Ukraine would help Russia link with Transnistria, which shared a 453 km border with Ukraine.
Mr Popescu raised fears about a growing conflict in the country, saying: “We want to solve the Transnistria conflict through peaceful dialogue and diplomacy.
“What we see is that absolute majority of citizens in the Transnistrian region doesn’t want to live in a war zone and want peace, but there are forces inside that want to fuel destabilisation.
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