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Moldova urges calm, boosts security after blasts

Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Tuesday urged citizens to remain calm while she stepped up security measures after a series of explosions in the breakaway Russia-backed region of Transnistria.

Sandu convened the country’s Supreme Security Council after blasts on Monday and Tuesday in the separatist region bordering Ukraine raised fears of a spillover from the conflict there.

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

She condemned 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 said, attributing the explosions to “internal differences between various groups in Transnistria that have an interest in destabilising the situation”.

Sandu said she had not 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 said the Supreme Security Council had 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.