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Kremlin Accuses Moldova of 'Anti-Russian Hysteria'

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Valery Sharifulin / TASS

The Kremlin on Monday accused tiny Moldova of "anti-Russian hysteria" after its prime minister called for the demilitarization of the Moscow-backed separatist region of Transnistria. 

Tensions have run high between pro-EU Moldova, wedged between Ukraine and Romania, and Russia during Moscow's offensive against Kyiv. 

"Moldova is slipping into anti-Russian hysteria," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

"The lack of a constructive dialogue harms Moldova itself."

He said Moscow's relations with Chisinau were "tense" and warned the small country to be "very, very careful" with its statements. 

Last week, Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean said Chisinau should "continue our efforts so that Russian troops are withdrawn" from Transnistria.

"The Trasnistrian area must be demilitarized," he said in parliament. 

Transnistria is a narrow region bordering Ukraine, which separated from Moldova after a short 1992 war. Russian soldiers have been deployed there since. 

Moldova, a poor country of 2.6 million people with a sizeable Russian minority, has taken a pro-Western turn in recent years, angering Moscow. 

After the launch of the full-scale offensive against Ukraine a year ago, the Kremlin has been accused of raising tensions in Transnistria to destabilize Ukraine and Moldova. 

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