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Moldovan president accuses Russia of plotting coup

US says backs Moldova sovereignty after rebels appeal to Moscow
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Moldova’s president Maia Sandu on Monday accused Russia of plotting to violently overthrow the country’s pro-European leadership with the help of saboteurs disguised as anti-government protesters.

Moscow’s alleged plan would involve “saboteurs with military background, camouflaged in civilian clothes, to undertake violent actions, attacks on state institutions and taking hostages”, Sandu told journalists.

Under the guise of “protests by the so-called opposition”, the saboteurs would aim to “overthrow the constitutional order and replace the legitimate power of Chisinau with an illegitimate one,” she added without taking questions.

Sandu’s statement comes after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky last week told a European Union summit that Kyiv had “intercepted the plan for the destruction of Moldova by Russian intelligence”.

Moldova, a country of 2.6 million people neighbouring Romania and Ukraine, received EU candidate status in the summer of 2022, but over the past year has been faced with numerous anti-government protests organised by a fugitive oligarch named Ilan Shor.

Alongside internal forces such as those controlled by Shor, Moscow would allegedly plan to use foreign citizens from Russia, Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro to implement its plans, Sandu said.

Moldova’s parliament would therefore need to “quickly adopt” the laws that would provide the country’s Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) and the prosecutors with “the necessary means to fight more efficiently against national security threats”, she urged.

But the “Kremlin’s attempts to bring violence to our country will fail”, she said.

Over the past year, the war in neighbouring Ukraine has repeatedly caused multiple security concerns as debris from Russian missiles landed on Moldovan territory after traversing its skies.

Moldova also suffered energy blackouts after Ukraine stopped exporting electricity because of Russian airstrikes on critical infrastructure.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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