Officials in Moldova have convened a security meeting after a series of incidents in the Russian-backed breakaway region of Trans-Dniester.
Moldovan President Maia Saudu said: “From the information we have at this moment, these escalation attempts stem from factions from within the Transdniestrian region who are pro-war forces and interested in destabilising the situation in the region.”
In contrast, pro-Russian officials in the region claimed the blasts had been “terrorist” attacks with links to the Ukrainian government.
Ms Saudu added the security council had recommended improving the combat readiness of security forces, increasing the number of patrols and checks near Moldova’s border with Trans-Dniester, and monitoring critical infrastructure more closely.
The region experienced two separate explosions on Tuesday which according to the Moldovan government, had been aimed at creating pretext to sparking conflict.
On Monday, explosions rocked the Ministry of State Security in the city of Tiraspol, the region’s capital.
Trans-Dniester’s president, Vadim Krasnoselsky, called on Tuesday for imposing anti-terrorist security measures at a “red level” for 15 days, including setting up checkpoints at the entrances to cities.
He also claimed the attacks can be traced to the Ukrainian government, adding: “The traces of these attacks lead to Ukraine. I assume that those who organised this attack have the purpose of dragging Trans-Dniester into the conflict.”
Russia has had a military force based in the region since the conflict in 1992 and last week, a senior Russian commander claimed gaining access to the region is part of the next phase of the campaign.
Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s Central Military District said: “One of the tasks of the Russian army is to establish full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine.
“This will provide a land corridor to the Crimea, as well as influence the vital objects of the Ukrainian economy.
“Control over the south of Ukraine is another way out to Transnistria, where there are also facts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population.”