The European Union is considering ways to further boost Moldova’s military, EU Council President Charles Michel said Wednesday, following recent attacks in the country’s pro-Moscow breakaway region of Transnistria.
Speaking alongside Moldova’s president Maia Sandu in Chisinau, Michel said “some decisions” have already been taken to enhance support in the fields of logistics and cyber defense.
The pair discussed what further military support could be provided, he said, but would not go into detail “to avoid any escalation.”
“We don't think that it is smart or intelligent to express provocative statements about [the] situation in Moldova or in Transnistria,” he said. “We want to prevent any incident.”
The Defense Ministry in Ukraine described the unexplained explosions in the Transnistria region as a "planned provocation" by the Russian secret services.
The ministry's defense intelligence department said in a statement on its Telegram channel that three days before the incident, the leaders of the breakaway region "were already preparing for it and took care to install a secure and comfortable bunker" at the Ministry of State Security, which was damaged in the explosions.
Russia's supposed "peacekeeping" presence in Transnistria has mirrored Moscow's pretext for invasions in Georgia and Ukraine, sparking fears the disputed territory is now included in Vladimir Putin's war strategy.
Some background: Transnistria is a breakaway republic in eastern Moldova that borders Ukraine. It has a population of nearly 500,000 and is internationally recognized as part of Moldova.
Russia has maintained a military presence in Transnistria since the early 1990s.