Moldova places borders on alert, citing situation in Ukraine
Moldova officials have placed the landlocked country's borders on alert, citing concerns about the deteriorating security situation and escalating violence in neighbouring Ukraine.
Top Moldovan leaders announced the move on Monday in a joint statement after Ukrainian forces deployed an elite unit to the port of Odessa and fighting between government troops and a pro-Russia militia in eastern Ukraine killed combatants on both sides.
President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and the parliament speaker, Igor Coreman, said in the statement that security forces had been ordered "to take all necessary actions to ensure public order inside the country".
They made no reference to any specific threat, but "expressed their concern about the deterioration of the security climate in the region following the escalation of violence in Ukraine", affirming Moldova's support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Moldova has 1,500 Russian troops stationed in a separatist republic of Trans-Dniester, which recently asked to be united with Russia.
Russia has said it respects Moldova's territorial integrity in the past, but leaders are concerned about unrest in Trans-Dniester.
Moldova has a 1,220-kilometre border with Ukraine, which is mostly controlled by pro-Russian separatists.