Transnistria Seeks Moscow’s Protection Amid Economic Tensions with Moldova



Pro-Russian separatists in the breakaway region of Transnistria, Moldova, have requested Moscow’s protection, citing accusations of economic warfare by the Moldovan government. This request comes amid rising tensions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While the call for protection stops short of a request for annexation, it revives concerns about the region’s future and its relations with both Moldova and Russia. Moscow, which maintains a military presence in Transnistria, has yet to respond to the protection request but has accused the West of attempting to turn Moldova into “a second Ukraine.”

  • The pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria has requested protection from Moscow, accusing Moldova of economic warfare.
  • Transnistria, not recognized internationally, is situated between Ukraine and Moldova, within Russia’s sphere of influence.
  • In 2006, a referendum in Transnistria showed overwhelming support for joining the Russian Federation, but Moscow did not act on this request.
  • Moldova denies waging economic warfare against Transnistria and labels the protection request as propaganda.
  • Russia has approximately 1500 troops in Transnistria, described as a peacekeeping mission, which Moldova considers illegitimate.
  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, claims NATO is trying to transform Moldova into a “second Ukraine.”
  • The economic situation in Transnistria has worsened, partly due to Moldova eliminating customs duties exemptions for Transnistrian companies.
  • Discussions about a potential referendum for joining Russia were considered overinflated and part of a hybrid attack against Transnistria.
  • Russia has pledged economic support and humanitarian measures for Transnistria but has not referenced political measures.
  • The situation contributes to further destabilization and disinformation in the region, amid upcoming elections in Moldova.
  • Transnistria’s inclusion in the EU’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement benefits the region, with around 70% of its exports going to EU countries.
  • Moldova’s security strategy has shifted away from mentioning neutrality, reflecting the challenges of maintaining neutrality in the current environment.

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