Separatists in Transnistria ask Moscow for protection from Moldova

Separatists in Transnistria ask Moscow for “protection” from Moldova

At a special congress, authorities approved a resolution. There is “social and economic pressure on Transnistria”, the breakaway region of Moldova said.

Pro-Russian separatists in Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria have asked Russia for “protection” against the Republic of Moldova, according to Russian media. At a special congress held on Wednesday, Transnistrian authorities decided to make a corresponding statement, as Russian news agencies and local media reported. Initially there was no official reaction from Moscow.

According to the resolution, Moscow is asked to “take measures to defend Transnistria in the face of growing pressure from Moldova”. There are “social and economic pressures on Transnistria that directly contradict European principles and approaches to protecting human rights and free trade,” says the statement, initiated by the president of the internationally unrecognized “republic,” Vadim Krasnosselski.

220,000 Russian citizens in Transnistria

According to the resolution, more than 220 thousand Russian citizens live in Transnistria. Russian soldiers are also stationed there. For EU membership candidate Moldova, which lies between Ukraine and Romania, this news could fuel fears of Russian aggression on its territory – especially as Russia has already stationed its own soldiers in Transnistria for decades. The region has separated from Moldova since the 1990s. Following the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, Moldovan politicians have repeatedly expressed great concern. Observers also accused Russia of deliberately destabilizing the situation in the region with provocations.

In their appeal to Moscow, those in power in Transnistria now also referred to Russian citizens living in the breakaway region. This will also worry many people. According to Russian military doctrine, the army is also authorized to move outside its own territory if it is supposed to protect Russian citizens. At this time, the Kremlin has not recognized Transnistria as its own state.

Government left in Moldova

The spokesman for Moldova's pro-European government, Daniel Voda, stressed that the authorities in Chisinau “calmly noted” the “demands and decisions of the so-called special congress” of the separatist region. Both the separatist leaders in Tiraspol and the Kremlin are clearly relying on “alarmism” and “media hysteria”, serving these smokescreens just to give the Tiraspol Congress some headlines, according to the government spokesperson.

In fact, the separatists' demands were ultimately much softer than feared – for days there was speculation in the Moldovan media that Transnistria's pseudo-deputies might demand annexation to Russia at their meeting today. (APA/AFP)

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