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Transdniestrian leader accuses Ukraine of escalating tensions

August 13, 2014, 22:27 UTC+3 TIRASPOL
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TIRASPOL, August 13, /ITAR-TASS/. The leader of Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria, Yevgeny Shevchuk, on Wednesday accused Ukraine of whipping up tensions around the unrecognised republic.

“We can see that there is a certain information policy to discredit Transdniestria in general. Unfortunately, untrue statements were made by official representatives of the neighbouring state,” he said at a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Moldova William Moser.

Shevchuk said Ukraine was massing its troops and making other military preparations on the border with Transdniestria. “New fortifications are being built and trenches are being dug. This worries not only the leadership of the republic but also its residents,” he said.

He invited U.S. officials to see with their own eyes that Transdniestria was not making military preparations.

Shevchuk said, however, earlier this week that Transdniestria was ready to repel any armed aggression.

“Transdniestria’s security forces are ready to repel any armed aggression,” he said and noted “increased information pressure” on the republic, which, in his opinion, is whipping up tensions among people.

Shevchuk also said that all government agencies were working as usual and the republic was “not preparing to attack its neighbours”.

Kiev officials earlier accused Transdniestria of preparing subversive groups and conducting reconnaissance in Ukraine.

In late July, Ukraine’s border guard service started digging a 3.5-m deep moat along the 450-km stretch of the border with Transdniestria to prevent possible invasion and smuggling.

Transdniestria’s security forces said they had intelligence reports indicating that armed provocations on the border with Ukraine were being prepared. The sides also accused each other of shooting in the border-lying regions.

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