Hungarian airline Wizz Air will reportedly suspend its flights to the small Eastern European country of Moldova from March 14 over security concerns linked to political tensions with Russia, reported the The Guardian.
The budget airline wrote in a statement: “Safety of the passengers and crew remain Wizz Air’s number one priority. Following the recent developments in Moldova and the elevated, but not imminent, risk in the country’s airspace, Wizz Air has made the difficult but responsible decision to suspend all flights to Chisinau from 14 March.”
Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said on Wednesday that the country was prepared for a “full spectrum of threats,” referring to fears over Russia’s alleged attempts to destabilize the country that has been severely affected by the war in neighboring Ukraine.
The vulnerable small country lying between Romania and Ukraine has been divided over its allegiance towards Russia by its sizeable Russian minority on the one hand, and by its close ties towards ethnically close Romania.
Its eastern part, Transnistria, had declared independence in 1990 over fears of a unification with Romania, and is supported politically and economically by Russia. There are allegedly 1500 Russian troops stationed in the separatist strip.
On the other hand, Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, turned her country into a staunch ally of the United States in hopes of security guarantees, and strengthened their relationship with Romania as well. Recently, she had complained that there was a Russian plot to destabilize her country and remove the pro-European government from power, information that she had allegedly received from Ukrainian agencies. Russia denied the claims according to which saboteurs disguised as anti-government protesters were about to overthrow the government with Moscow’s help.
However, Wizzair’s security fears are not unfounded: Moldova had to close its airspace several times in the past months due to either debris falling onto its territory from Ukraine, or suspected Russian missiles flying over its territory via the Black Sea.
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