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Moldova threatened by “Russian-generated hybrid warfare” to destabilize the government

origin 1Moldovan Defense Minister, Anatolie Nosatii ©Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP

Moldova currently does not face an “imminent military danger” but is subjected to “a Russian-generated hybrid warfare” in an attempt to “overthrow state power,” according to its defense minister Anatolie Nosatii.

Bordering Ukraine, and face-to-face with the Russian-controlled breakaway region of Transnistria, Moldova finds itself in a precarious geographical and political position within Europe.

One of the poorest nations in Europe, conditions in the country have worsened since the start of the war in Ukraine, due to the ongoing energy crisis. Public dissatisfaction is high, with large-scale protests regularly causing disruption.

Since the formation of a new pro-Western government in February, anti-government demonstrations have continued, which authorities believe have been fueled by Russian interference.

Indeed, on Sunday, Moldovan police said they had uncovered a plot by Russian-backed agents trying to cause mass disturbances during a protest.

Defense Minister Anatolie Nosatii said Russia poses a threat to Moldova: “I’m talking about a hybrid war. It manifests itself through disinformation and fake news, which is reflected in tensions within our society, generated by Russia to change the political order, destabilize the situation and overthrow the state power”.

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This comes after Moldova’s President Maia Sandu met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Munich, where she suggested Moldova would be open to joining the political alliance.

Anatolie Nosatii said the “priority” as it stands is to cooperate with NATO and “deepen” ties, as they have done over the past year.

Moldova’s vulnerability to Russian influence comes from Transnistria, a strip of land internationally recognized as Moldovan, but controlled by Russia, between the Dniester River and the Moldovan-Ukrainian border.

In an interview with AFP, Anatolie Nosatii reiterated Moldova’s request for “the unconditional evacuation of the Russian armed forces which are illegally stationed on the territory of Moldova”.