Russia on Tuesday slapped down as “completely unfounded” accusations from Moldova that Moscow was plotting to violently overthrow the country’s pro-European leadership with the help of saboteurs.
“Such claims are completely unfounded and unsubstantiated,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
Moldova’s President Maia Sandu on Monday accused Russia of plotting her government’s overthrow. Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said last week that Kyiv had “intercepted the plan for the destruction of Moldova by Russian intelligence”.
On Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry accused Kyiv of seeking to pit Moldova against Russia and accused Moldovan authorities of Russophobia.
“Unlike Western countries and Ukraine, we do not interfere in the internal affairs of Moldova and other countries of the world,” the ministry said.
“Russia does not pose a threat to the security of the Republic of Moldova,” it added, saying that “stable and friendly relations” with Russia could benefit Moldova.
Last February, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine and called on the Ukrainian army to overthrow Zelensky.
For years the Kremlin has sought to keep post-Soviet states such as Ukraine and Moldova in its sphere of influence, but both countries have pivoted to the West.
Russia maintains a so-called peacekeeping force in a breakaway region of eastern Moldova called Transnistria, which borders Ukraine.
Moldova, a country of 2.6 million people neighbouring Romania and Ukraine, received EU candidate status in the summer of 2022.