(Reuters) – Russia rejected on Tuesday an accusation by Moldova’s president that Moscow is plotting to destabilise the former Soviet republic.

Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, complained on Monday that Russia was planning to use foreign saboteurs to bring down her tiny country’s leadership, stop it joining the European Union and use it in the war against Ukraine.

“Such claims are completely unfounded and unsubstantiated,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russia blamed Ukraine for stirring tension between Russia and Moldova, saying Kyiv was trying to draw Moldova “into a tough confrontation with Russia”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week his country had uncovered a Russian intelligence plan “for the destruction of Moldova”.

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Days later, Moldova’s government resigned.

Sandu, whose country borders Ukraine, has repeatedly expressed concern about Russia’s intentions and about the presence of Russian troops in the breakaway Transdniestria region.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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