Putin’s puppet threatens Ukraine’s neighbour after snub as Kremlin vows revenge
Moldova has announced the decision to expel 45 Russian ambassadors and other diplomatic workers for “unfriendly actions” leading to a harsh response from the Kremlin.
The number of expulsions will be lowered later to 25, which corresponds to the size of Moldova’s embassy staff in Moscow.
Since Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Moldovan government has accused Russia of espionage and backing dissident parties within Moldova.
In response to the expulsion, Russia expressed its displeasure and threatened retaliatory actions.
The Kremlin warned that the move would “not go unanswered”.
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Moldova’s foreign ministry recently shared its worries about a media story describing the installation of additional monitoring equipment on the top of the Russian embassy and an adjacent building used by Russia.
Insider, a Russian investigative media site, published the report, which was also covered by Moldova’s Jurnal TV programme.
The announcement of the expulsion was made on Wednesday, and the reason cited by the ministry was the continuous tensions and unfriendly behavior exhibited by the Russian diplomats.
The Russian embassy staff has been given until August 15 to leave the country.
Moldova’s Foreign Minister, Nicu Popescu, stated that they have been subjected to hostile actions and policies from Russia for many years, with many of these actions being carried out through the embassy.
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In response to the expulsion, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that Moldova’s ‘unfriendly step’ would not be left without a response.
However, she did not specify the exact measures that Russia would take.
Nevertheless, she hinted at possible restrictions on consular services and Moldovan citizens’ interactions with Russia.
Moldova, with a population of barely 2.6 million people, has one of Europe’s worst economies and has been severely impacted by the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
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Due to antiquated electrical infrastructure left over from the Soviet era, the country has been dealing with a serious energy crisis.
Russia not only restricted its gas supply, but the strikes on Ukraine’s electrical grid also caused sporadic power outages in Moldova.
Furthermore, the invasion of Ukraine led in an influx of Ukrainian refugees, putting further strain on Moldova’s public services.
In addition to these obstacles, Russia backs rebels who govern Transnistria, a breakaway area within Moldova.
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