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Poland 'watching situation in Moldova' amid reports of imminent Russian attack: spokesman

02.05.2022 10:45
Poland is closely monitoring the situation in Moldova where a "serious conflict could potentially break out,” the Polish foreign ministry's spokesman said on Monday.
Łukasz Jasina.
Łukasz Jasina.PAP/Leszek Szymański

Łukasz Jasina made the remark in an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio.

He said: “The Polish foreign ministry is closely watching the situation in Moldova.”

He noted that Poland was presiding over the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which has a mission in Moldova’s Moscow-backed separatist region of Transnistria, the polskieradio24.pl website reported.

“We are working very hard to determine what is happening there,” Jasina told Polish Radio. 

“It’s a place where a very serious conflict could potentially break out, and so we are carefully monitoring developments,” he added.

Russia to attack Moldova around May 9: Ukraine

Jasina’s words came amid warnings from Ukraine’s intelligence officials that Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade Moldova.

Britain’s The Times newspaper quoted Ukrainian officials as saying: “We believe the Kremlin has already taken the decision to attack Moldova.”

According to Ukraine’s intelligence services, Putin plans to attack Moldova around May 9, the Victory Day holiday in Russia. 

The Kremlin could then recognise the independence of Transnistria, as it did with the so-called people’s republics in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, according to officials.

“Russia is already paving the way for a takeover of Moldova,” Ukrainian sources told The Times, adding that Putin could then attack Ukraine, including the strategic port of Odesa, from the west.

Russia’s three aims in Moldova

Meanwhile, British analysts said Russia had three objectives in Moldova: divert some of the Ukrainian forces to the south-western flank; weaken the Moldovan government’s pro-European stance; and intimidate the West by indicating that support for Ukraine may lead to further destabilisation in the region, including in the Balkans, the UK newspaper reported, as cited by Polish state news agency PAP.

Attack on Moldova too dangerous for Russia?

At the same time, Western analysts told The Times that Russia was not able to deploy its forces safely to Moldova, the PAP news agency reported. 

Whether moving by air from the Crimean peninsula, or by land from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson, the Russian forces would face stiff resistance from the Ukrainian army, Western sources told the UK newspaper, according to PAP.  

Series of incidents

Meanwhile, a series of incidents occurred in the breakaway region of Transnistria over the past week, the PAP news agency reported.

Explosions hit government buildings in the capital Tiraspol, as well as a radio tower broadcasting in Russian, among other attacks. 

According to Ukraine’s intelligence services, the explosions were staged by Russia. 

Russia also spread disinformation, including false warnings of imminent shelling of the region, purportedly coming from Ukrainian authorities, PAP reported.

Moreover, there were cyberattacks on Moldova’s government websites, officials told reporters.

The authorities in Chișinău said that pro-Russian group Killnet was responsible for the hacking operation. It had conducted similar attacks on the websites of the NATO alliance and EU member states, most recently Romania, the Moldovan government said.

Monday is day 68 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.    


Source: polskieradio24.pl, PAPthetimes.co.uk