Moldova says no evidence of increased activity of Russian troops in Transnistria

Moldova says no evidence of increased activity of Russian troops in Transnistria
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 4, 2022

Moldova has denied claims from the General Staff of Ukraine that the Russian troops in the Moldovan separatist region of Transnistria have been redeployed along the border with Ukraine, in order to potentially prepare for an attack that could open another front in the war.

There have been concerns since the start of the war that Russia could use its presence in Transnistria — which it has backed politically and militarily since a brief war following the breakup of the Soviet Union — in the war in Ukraine, and potentially to embroil Moldova in the war, though officials in both Chisinau and Tiraspol have said they do not expect this. 

In the morning of April 1, the General Staff of Ukraine implied in a Facebook post that it expects provocations from the Russian troops in Transnistria.  

“Work to engage Russian troops units based in the territory of the Pridnestrovian [Transnistrian] region of the Republic of Moldova has been activated to conduct provocations and demonstration actions on the border with Ukraine,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on April 1.

The redeployment of Russian troops and units of the so-called Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic was marked in order to prepare for a demonstration of readiness for the advance and possibly combat against Ukraine, the statement added. 

However, this was met with denials from both Moldova and Transnistria. 

"State institutions are closely monitoring the security situation in the region. In this context, we would like to inform you that there is no information to confirm the mobilisation of troops in the Transnistrian region," a statement from Moldova’s Bureau for Reintegration issued on April 2 reads.

In its turn, Transnistria’s foreign ministry also denied the statements of the General Staff of Ukraine saying that “all the military units are in of permanent deployment positions and carry out their activities in a standard operating mode”. 

Furthermore, the separatist authorities said that they have reduced their military activity to minimum in order to preserve peace.

Around 25,000 refugees from Ukraine are currently in Transnistria, the authorities in Tiraspol claim.

“The foreign ministry of Transnistria is authorised to declare that the information disseminated by the General Staff of Ukraine is absolutely untrue … The leadership of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic has repeatedly officially declared the absence of any threat to Ukraine [from Transnistria]. This principled position of the state is unchanged,” the statement reads.