The president of Moldova has launched a scathing attack on the Kremlin’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, in the wake of a row over 45 diplomats expelled from the Russian embassy in Chisinau.

 

In a TV interview, Maia Sandu was responding to angry remarks made by Russia’s Maria Zakharova, who said Moldova’s decision was “another step in the destruction of bilateral relations” between the two countries.

 

A defiant Sandu responded: “In general, our relations with the Russian Federation deteriorated sharply after Russia attacked Ukraine and killed innocent people, destroyed cities and villages in Ukraine.”

 

Moldova’s decision to expel the diplomats was made against the backdrop of a investigation by Jurnal TV and The Insider, which identified the appearance of dozens of antennas and satellite dishes on the roof of the Russian embassy in Moldova, which were believed to be used by Russian special services for espionage activities.

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Earlier Moldova’s Foreign Minister, Nicolae Popescu said: “A significant part of such actions was carried out through the embassy... It is important that diplomatic services focus on developing good relations... We have reached a common agreement on the need to limit the number of accredited diplomats from Russia.”

 

Zakharova is no stranger to dubious statements – even the Kremlin distanced itself from comments she made about the recent drone strikes on Moscow.

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And earlier this month she said a peace settlement with Ukraine is only possible if Kyiv “stops hostilities” and puts an end to “terrorist attacks.”

 

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