Vadim Krasnoselsky, leader of the pro-Russian breakaway region in Moldova known as Transnistria, warned on Friday about the dangers of any plan to invade the area, RIA reported citing Krasnoselsky's press service.
"Pridnestrovia is an island of stability, a guarantee of freedom and a person's right to life," he said, adding that should aggression be taken against them, "all the people will stand up for its defense, for the defense of their home, their family, their loved ones, their state."
He further stressed for a call for "unconditional recognition of the well of the Pridnestrovian people on the independence of our republic," RIA reported.
Transnistria, also known as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic and located on the Ukrainian border, is a de-facto independent but unrecognized breakaway state from Moldova formed in 1990 originally as an attempt to remain part of the Soviet Union should the rest of Moldova achieve independence – an issue that soon became moot when the Soviet Union dissolved shortly thereafter.
According to Balkan Insight, Russia maintains around 1,600 soldiers in Transnistria, divided into peacekeeping troops and the Operative Group of Russian Troops.
It has long been feared by Ukraine that Russia could use Transnistria as a launching point for attacks into western Ukraine, though Krasnoselsky has long dismissed these fears since March.
"Such or similar decisions were not made by the leadership of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The army of the republic functions in a standard mode, military units are in places of permanent deployment,” he said in March, state media reported.
At the time, the Ukrainian military also said it did not believe that Transnistria was preparing for war.