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Moldova urges calm, steps up security after blasts in Russia-backed breakaway region

Moldova's President Maia Sandu speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at the Presidential Palace, in Chisinau, Moldova, on March 6, 2022. (Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo via AP)
Moldova's President Maia Sandu speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at the Presidential Palace, in Chisinau, Moldova, on March 6, 2022. (Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo via AP)

CHISINAU, Moldova — Moldovan President Maia Sandu urges citizens to remain calm while she steps up security measures after a series of explosions in the breakaway Russia-backed region of Transnistria.

Sandu convenes the country’s Supreme Security Council today after blasts the past two days in the separatist region bordering Ukraine raised fears of a spillover from the conflict there.

Sandu says after a meeting of the Supreme Security Council: “We urge citizens to keep calm and feel safe.”

She condemns the explosions that hit Transnistria’s security ministry, a radio tower and a military unit, causing damage but no reported injuries.

“This is an attempt to escalate tensions. We decisively condemn such acts,” she says, attributing the explosions to “internal differences between various groups in Transnistria that have an interest in destabilizing the situation.”

Sandu says she hasn’t had direct contact with Transnistria’s leadership.

The Kremlin deploys troops in Transnistria and has expressed “concern” at the explosions, while Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to create unrest.

Sandu says the Supreme Security Council has recommended that state agencies step up patrols and vehicle checks near the buffer zone with Transnistria, as well as tightening public safety measures and security checks on critical infrastructure.

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