Moldova to summon Russian ambassador over report on surveillance

CHISINAU (Reuters): Moldova’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would summon Russian ambassador Oleg Vasnetsov for an explanation of media reports that equipment has been installed on the Russian embassy’s rooftop that could be used for spying.

The Insider media outlet and television channel Jurnal TV said 28 satellite dishes, masts, and transmitting and receiving devices had been installed on the embassy and a neighboring residential building used by diplomats and technical personnel.

They said in a joint report that people associated with Russian intelligence had been seen on the buildings.

“We consider espionage or foreign interference in the internal affairs of Moldova to be absolutely unacceptable, which represents a direct challenge to the sovereignty and national security of the Moldovan state,” the ministry said.

The embassy and Moscow did not immediately comment on the ministry statement or on the media report.

Russia has denied repeated Moldovan accusations of meddling in its affairs, particularly over the breakaway region of Transdniestria, where Moscow has a contingent of peacekeepers.

Tension has also mounted over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moldova, which borders Ukraine, has criticized the invasion and Russia’s war on its neighbor.

In February, Russia rejected an accusation by Moldova’s president that Moscow was plotting to destabilize the former Soviet republic. The Russian foreign ministry described such assertions as “completely unfounded and unsubstantiated.”