Russia has already picked its next target, President Vladimir Putin's right-hand man has claimed.
Nearly one-year on from the day that Russian troops set foot into Ukraine, many experts have been pondering what's next for Putin's forces.
And despite losing around 60% of his man power – with nearly 200k deaths and 400k more soldiers injured so badly they can no longer fight – it now appears that the despot has already decided which country he'll invade next.
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During a wide-ranging interview with Russian news agency TASS, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “Western countries are looking at Moldova to play the role of the 'next Ukraine' because (Moldova's President) Maia Sandu, whom they managed to put at the head of the state through methods far from democratic, is eager to join NATO as she is ready to unite with Romania and in fact, to do almost anything.
“Moldova’s refusal to resume activities within the five plus one group on Transnistria says a lot, making it is clear that the Moldovan authorities are prepared to resolve the Transnistria issue by force.
“The West wants to turn Georgia into another irritant for Russia but the country’s authorities continue to be guided by their national interests despite demands to join the sanctions on Moscow.”
While not going as far as saying that Russia was planning an attack, he did answer a direct question about Moldova being the “next Ukraine”.
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During the interview, he also announced a new “Summit of Democracies” – ironically headed by Russia – attended by several leading beacons of democracy in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.
He added: “It is the Americans who will appoint the ‘democracies.’
“No offence, but if we look at the list of the countries that were invited to the first Summit of Democracies, there are some nations whom even the Americans never considered to be democratic.
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“Moscow will do everything possible to make sure that anti-Russian covens held in New York and on other platforms are not the only events that attract the international community’s attention.”
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