Transnistria asks Russia to increase its military presence, Ukraine responds
The so-called Transnistrian Moldovan Republic has requested an increase in the number of Russian troops on its territory to “protect the region”
This was stated by the head of the unrecognized republic's representative office, Leonid Manakov, Russian RBC reports.
According to Manakov, in 1995, Russia reduced the number of military contingent from 6 to 2 motorized rifle battalions, or 450 people.
"At the same time, their authorized strength, as established by the commission's documents, is 3,100 people," he said.
Manakov noted that the increase in the number of Russian military, or as the occupation administration calls them "peacekeepers," is justified in the event of increased security risks, including provocations and terrorist threats.
According to a representative of the pseudo-republic's "authorities," this contingent is the main security factor on the Dniester River and the main obstacle for "hotheads" in Chisinau, and while the mission continues, Moldova is "constrained in any military plans and preparations against Transnistria."
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa Regional Military Administration, responded to this information.
"I ask one logical question to which Russia cannot have an answer. How do they plan to fly there (to Transnistria - ed.)? Who will allow them into our airspace or Moldova's airspace?" he said.
"They're talking nonsense. They make the whole world laugh. Of course, our Defense Forces are on their positions. They know everything, they see everything, they understand everything," Bratchuk added.
Later, a statement from the Moldovan Bureau of Reintegration was published.
“First of all, it is necessary to clarify the status of the so-called representative office on behalf of which Mr. Manakov acts. Chisinau has been waiting for such clarifications for more than four years. Secondly, the mechanism of the peacekeeping forces can be discussed by the parties that signed the Agreement of July 21, 1992, and not by people who have nothing to do with it,” Newsmaker quoted the Bureau's statement.
It is worth noting that an agreement on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Transnistrian region of Moldova was signed between Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and then-Russian President Yeltsin.
On February 23, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of preparing an armed provocation in Transnistria, while the Moldovan authorities denied it.