Ukraine will respond to a possible "slap" from Transnistria with a blow, — Zelensky
In the event of aggression by self-proclaimed Transnistria, controlled by russia, Ukraine will respond with a blow.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky stated it at a briefing with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who visited Kyiv on June 27, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"Today, we raised the issue of risks (attack by Transnistria – ed.). If they happen, I think it is a global mistake. We receive certain signals. They are unpleasant. But these people from the temporarily occupied territories of Moldova should know that for us, it will not be a blow, but a slap, and we will respond to the slap with a blow," Zelensky said.
At the same time, the head of state stressed that "everything must be done to prevent destabilization in the region."
"We show it in every possible way … All such cases (information about the possibility of strikes from Transnistria – ed.) were forced by the russian federation," he said.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova, like many former Soviet republics, was to announce its independence. However, the territory of Transnistria on the eastern bank of the Dniester River—the site of a russian military station—declared itself a Soviet republic in 1990, preventing Moldova from becoming an independent state.
When Moldova became independent, russia inserted itself as a so-called "peacekeeping force" in Transnistria, sending troops in to back pro-russian separatists. War with Moldovan forces began; the conflict ended at a standstill in 1992 and russia's annexation of the territory.
Transnistria is unrecognized by the international community. The world countries consider it a part of Moldova. The Moldovan capital, Chisinau, has no control over the territory, which remains under russia's "rule."
On May 18, almost three months after russia started the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Moldovan President demanded russia to withdraw its troops from Transnistria. "Today, there is no inevitable threat of Moldova's involvement in a military conflict, we are a neutral country, but for this, we call for the withdrawal of the russian military from the territory of Transnistria because their presence fundamentally undermines our independence, our neutrality," Sandu emphasized.