Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin has accused Russian forces of planning to assassinate him over the separatist conflict over the Russian-speaking Transdniestria region, as tensions rise ahead of parliamentary elections that will decide who will elect the president.
In an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant, he accused Russian forces of arming groups in the conflict region near the Black Sea.
“We have information that certain forces in Russia are planning to assassinate me, because they cannot tolerate a person who is getting close to solving the Transdniestria conflict,” he reportedly told the paper.
He also accused the region of selling weapons to Saddam Hussein.
“I have…documents from the office of Saddam Hussein, documents on the sale of weapons to Iraq through Transdniestria,” he said, linking the sale to certain groups in Russia.
In the last weeks, a number of Russians have been detained in the CIS state on allegations of spreading opposition propaganda and on visa violations.
In the interview, meanwhile, Voronin said that apart from the breakaway region, whose leader, Igor Smirnov, proclaimed the area an independent republic, the former Soviet state has no issues of disagreement with Russia.
Earlier Voronin denied any “tension” in Moldovan-Russian relations, but lambasted a Moscow-proposed settlement formula for the Transdniestria region.
“It isn’t tension but a pre-election situation,” Voronin told the Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy
“There remains one unsolved problem” in Moldovan-Russian relations -“the problem of Transdniestria,” Voronin said.