NATO says there's no imminent threat to Moldova

NATO says there's no imminent threat to Moldova

The bloc's deputy secretary general says there are no imminent military risks to Moldova.

Attempts to destabilize Moldova are already underway, but there isn't a imminent military threat to the former Soviet republic, NATO's Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana has said.

The Romanian politician told the local news channel Digi 24 that NATO expects provocative acts and actions under false flags in Moldova during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

However, the US-led bloc doesn't believe that the country of 2.6 million, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, is under imminent military threat, Geoana said.

He mentioned provocations already starting in Moldova and added that these are likely to cause difficulties for Ukrainian forces in the country's west, in Odessa area, without specifying who might be responsible for them.

The Moldovan region that has declared itself independent, Transnistria, stretching along the border with Ukraine, has seen a number of strange incidents this week.

On Monday, unknown assailants attacked the local ministry of state security with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, blowing out windows and damaging its facade. This was followed by two explosions at Transnistria's broadcasting center on Tuesday morning, which saw two antennas that transmitted Russian radio stations being brought down.

The president of the self-proclaimed Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic PMR Vadim Krasnoselsky has described the attacks perpetrated by Ukrainian nationals.

On Thursday, Alexey Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, suggested Kiev could capture Transnistria. Arestovich said we would have managed somehow, but he added that such an operation could only take place if the Moldovan authorities asked for it.

Chisinau hurried to reject the proposal, with Moldova's office for reintegration insisting that the settlement of the Transnistrian issue can only be achieved by political means and only on the basis of a peaceful solution. On Saturday, Russia s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moldova shouldn't be concerned by Moscow's military operation in Ukraine. They should worry about their own future because they are being dragged into NATO. He pointed out that he doesn't think it's going to make Moldova safer.

Transnistria broke away from Moldova in the early 1990s, shortly after the collapse of the USSR. The republic maintains close ties with Moscow, with Russian peacekeepers stationed there and a sizable portion of local residents holding Russian passports.

On February 24 Russia sent troops into Ukraine after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.