Moldova-Russia rift deepens

Moldova's new prime minister, Dorin Recean, has emphasized his intention to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops stationed in his country.

Recean spoke at the national assembly on Thursday before assuming his new post under the pro-Western government led by President Maia Sandu.

He said, "We want to be a full-fledged member of the European Union." The prime minister also said he aims to boost Moldova's defense capability. He added that investments must be made in human and technological skills to protect their own country.

The former Soviet republic is Ukraine's neighbor and home to the pro-Russia breakaway region of Transdniestria, where Russian troops have been deployed.

Recean said it is important to continue on the path to realize the disarmament and withdrawal of Russian troops in the region.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded on Monday that Russia's relations with Moldova "are already very tense." He said, "We would recommend our Moldovan interlocutors to be very cautious about such statements." Peskov warned Moldova against further aggravating relations.

Moldova is increasingly on guard against Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. On February 13, President Sandu accused Russia of plotting to overthrow her government.