Moldova accuses Russian army of trying to recruit its citizens


CHISINAU, April 14 (Reuters) – Moldova on Thursday accused the Russian military of trying to recruit Moldovan citizens, days after British military intelligence said Moscow was trying to rebuild its forces in Ukraine by recruiting from the separatist region of Transnistria. Read more

Transnistria is a narrow strip of land held by pro-Russian separatists that runs along eastern Moldova and approaches about 40 km from the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Read more

“Such actions do not promote peace for all of us, our fellow citizens, for our families. Such things are very dangerous and they must be stopped,” Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said.

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He did not give further details but said that Moldovan foreign ministry officials meet regularly with the Russian ambassador and that Moldova’s position on the matter was perfectly clear.

The Moscow Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters was unable to immediately verify whether the Russian military had attempted to recruit Moldovans.

Separately on Thursday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Russia was massing troops in several regions, including Transnistria, for a “further escalation” in Ukraine.

Moldova said last month it was monitoring the situation in Transnistria, where around 1,500 Russian troops are based, but had seen no significant changes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

Transnistrian authorities denied on Monday that Russia was carrying out military preparations threatening Ukraine on its territory. The region’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday about the Ukrainian Malyar’s remarks.

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to destroy Ukraine’s military capabilities and root out what it sees as dangerous nationalists, but Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched a war of unprovoked aggression.

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Reporting by Alexander Tanas Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets Writing by Alexander Winning, editing by William Maclean

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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