MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Russian Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine on Thursday of planning to invade Transnistria, which is separated from Moldova, after a fake operation, the RIA news agency reported.
The ministry said Ukraine had planned an attack, allegedly launched by Russian forces, from Transnistria as a pretext for the invasion.
In a separate context, the TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin as saying that the West had instructed the Chisinau government to stop any interaction with the Moscow-backed Transnistrian administration.
Earlier this month, Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Moscow of plotting a coup to overthrow the government and drag Transnistria into its war.
The mainly Russian-speaking region broke away from then-Soviet Moldova in 1990. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, pro-Russian separatists fought a bloody war against government forces in Moldova.
In addition, the US State Department said on Wednesday that the United States is concerned about the increasing alliance between China and Russia, after Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the “new horizons” in relations with Beijing and indicated that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would visit his country.
Talk of Xi’s visit came as Washington said that China is considering supplying weapons to Russia in its war in Ukraine, in a move that heralds a possible escalation of the war between Moscow and Kiev to become between Russia and China on the one hand, and Ukraine and NATO led by the United States on the other.
Putin met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the Kremlin on Wednesday, saying that bilateral trade between the two countries is better than expected and could soon reach 200 billion dollars annually, up from 185 billion dollars last year.
“We are waiting for the President of the People’s Republic of China to visit Russia, we agreed on that,” Putin told Wang.
“Everything is progressing and developing,” he added. We have reached new heights.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wang’s visit to Russia on the eve of the first anniversary of the war is further evidence of the alliance between Beijing and Moscow.
“We are concerned because these two countries share a vision. It is a vision… of an era when big countries can bully small countries, and borders can be redrawn by force.”
“We have not yet seen the People’s Republic of China provide combat aid to Russia, but we don’t think they have taken it off the table either,” he added.
Tass news agency quoted Wang, who also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as saying that China “will not abandon its principle of adopting an objective and impartial stance and playing a constructive role in the political settlement of the crisis.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed China’s vital role in efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and said it appreciated China’s “balanced approach.”
The ministry issued a separate statement saying that Lavrov and Wang did not discuss a previously announced Chinese peace plan.
Wang told Putin that the relations between the two countries have withstood the pressure of the volatile international situation, and those crises have provided some opportunities.
Wang said through an interpreter present at the meeting that China-Russia relations are not directed against any other country, but likewise “will not be subject to pressure from third parties,” an apparent reference to the United States.
“Together we uphold multipolarity and democracy in international relations,” Wang told Putin.
Source : رأي اليوم