As several missiles hit the bridge over the Dniester estuary in the Odessa region on Wednesday, the European, Moldovan and Ukrainian leaders voiced concern about an escalating situation.
The head of the Ukrainian railway network, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said another rocket hit the railway and road bridge. “Today at 6:45 a second rocket attack took place on the same bridge over the Dniester estuary in the Odessa region,” Kamyshin said on Wednesday.
No employees of the railway company were injured, and the extent of the damage to the infrastructure is yet to be determined, he said. The bridge was hit by a Russian rocket attack on Tuesday. Repairs had just begun when Wednesday’s attack took place.
The Tiraspol separatists claim that gunfire was fired from the Ukrainian side in the direction of a village, Cobasna, where there is a huge ammunition depot, while several drones allegedly flew over the area. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.
On Tuesday, two communications towers had been blown up in a locality in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, and on Monday evening, in Tiraspol, unidentified people fired a grenade launcher at the headquarters of the so-called security structure in the region. it was clear that no one was in the building, as it was the second day of Easter.
Following these incidents, the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told parliament in Berlin on Wednesday that it was unclear who was behind the attacks in the separatist region of Transnistria, but described Moldova’s situation as “extremely critical.”
Speaking to the Bundestag, Annalena Baerbock said she had questions about the recent attacks in Transnistria. She came to the German parliament to answer questions from MEPs about the war in Ukraine and to explain Germany’s help to Kyiv.
Concern in Bucharest, too
Tensions in Transnistria are worrying for Bucharest as well.
“Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted with concern the few recent incidents, still unclear, in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova,” a statement said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Romania fully supports the call of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, for calm and responsibility, after the attacks in Transnistria and also supports “the efforts of the Chisinau authorities to manage these developments responsibly, transparently and balanced” , says the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In his turn, the Romanian defense minister said he was trying to provoke a conflict in Transnistria, but did not see the possibility of a war in Moldova because it was a neutral country. The minister agreed to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, but assured that there were no talks for Romania to send weapons to Ukraine.
Maia Sandu: A complex and tense situation
The President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, said after a meeting of the Security Council convened as a result of escalating tensions in Transnistria, that according to information obtained by the Moldovan authorities, various forces in the region are interested in destabilizing the situation. “It’s a complex and tense situation. We are vigilant, we will take all the necessary measures to avoid an escalation“, she said. “In recent weeks, there have been several bomb alerts in the region in schools and medical institutions, followed by explosions yesterday and today (Tuesday – n.r.). The Moldovan authorities are watching carefully and vigilantly. Our analysis shows that there are tensions between different forces within the region, interested in destabilizing the situation. This makes the region vulnerable and creates risks for the Republic of Moldova“, Maia Sandu added.
Ukraine: Moldova should seek the help of Romania and Ukraine if the situation deteriorates in Transnistria
Ukrainians came up with even more surprising statements. The Republic of Moldova should seek the help of Romania and Ukraine if the situation deteriorates in Transnistria. The statement came from Oleksii Arestovich, one of President Zelensky’s advisers. The same official claims that Ukraine could resolve the security crisis represented by the Russian military in Transnistria “in the blink of an eye”.
Another adviser to the Ukrainian president warned that Moldovans across the Prut should expect special guests. The term “special guests” referred to Russian soldiers.
In his turn, President Zelensky was even more direct. “This is another one of the steps planned by the Russian Federation. Their special services worked there (in Transnistria, n.r.) and it is not simply for the sake of false news. It is clear why he wants to destabilize the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova, showing him what will happen if Moldova continues to support Ukraine. As for the Russian troops permanently present on the territory of the temporarily occupied region of Moldova, Transnistria, we have known for many years that they are permanently waiting for a marching order. But we know the size of the troops, and the Ukrainian armed forces are ready to deal with them. Don’t be afraid of them! ” – said President Volodymyr Zelensky.