Lavrov warns Moldova about threats to peacekeepers

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined concerns that Moldova’s Trans-Dniester region, which borders Ukraine, could be drawn into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in an address on Thursday at Russia’s top foreign affairs school in Moscow.

Russia has stationed peacekeepers in Trans-Dniester since the 1992 end of a three-month war that left the region outside Moldovan control. Russian forces also guard a large ammunition dump there.


In April, tensions in Moldova soared after a series of explosions in Trans-Dniester.

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“Everyone should understand that any kind of actions that will raise a threat to the security of our servicemen will be considered in accordance with international law as an attack on the Russian Federation,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov also said calls from within the European Union moves to ban tourist visas for Russian citzens were “pathetic.”

“But we won’t self-isolate. We didn’t discuss it yet, but I think that we should not be closed and reciprocate and punish residents of European countries in response to Schengen walls which they try to build,” Lavrov said during his address to university students at Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

EU countries have agreed on the need to make it harder for Russian citizens to enter the 27-nation bloc.

But they failed Wednesday to find any consensus on imposing an outright tourist ban in response to Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

Lavrov also confirmed an International Atomic Energy Agency mission would be visiting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control.

“We do everything for this plant to be secure, to function safely, and for this mission to implement all its plans,” he added.

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of waging attacks near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant just as a team of UN inspectors were heading to visit it.

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