Moldova’s breakaway region Transnistria asks Russia to send troops

Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria on Wednesday called on Russia for help by implementing “protective measures” amid “unprecedented challenges and threats” by Chisinau.

The enclave has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since the early 1990s but is internationally recognized as part of Moldova.

At a special congress in the city of Tiraspol, lawmakers passed a resolution requesting Russia’s parliament to “protect” Transnistria in the context of “increasing pressure from Moldova.”

The declaration, shared by Russian media, said the appeal was made taking into account the presence of “more than 220,000 Russian citizens” and the “unique positive experience of Russian peacekeeping on the Dniester (River), as well as the status of guarantor and mediator in the negotiation process.”

It also called on the international community to prevent the growing tensions, saying the request will also be sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and participants of the 5+2 format talks to influence Moldova.

“Pridnestrovie will persistently fight for its own identity, rights and interests of the Pridnestrovian people and will not give up their protection, despite any forms of blackmail and external pressure,” it said.

Daniel Voda, spokesman for the Moldovan government, said the authorities do not see the danger of escalation of tension in Transnistria and called the congress of deputies in the unrecognized republic “a propaganda action.”

Voda emphasized that there is no danger of escalation and destabilization in the Transnistrian region “right now,” adding that the Transnistrian region “shares the goals of preserving peace and security in the Republic of Moldova.”

“This propaganda campaign around the so-called event does not deserve the attention of foreign journalists,” he stressed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement that the protection of the interests of Transnistria is “one of the priorities” for Moscow.

“All requests are always carefully considered by the Russian relevant departments,” it said.

Relations between the two banks of the Dniester began to gradually deteriorate in 2020 after the election of Moldovan President Maya Sandu, who made a number of harsh statements to Tiraspol and refused to meet with the leader of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselsky.

The situation has worsened since the beginning of 2024 after the decision of the Moldovan authorities to levy duties on goods traveling to Transnistria through the territory of the republic.

After Ukraine closed the Transnistrian section of the border with Moldova in 2022, goods to Transnistria could only enter through the territory controlled by Chisinau. Tiraspol accused Chisinau of using Transnistria’s vulnerable position to block the supply of goods.

Moldova’s actions led to the decision of Transnistria’s authorities to convene a congress of deputies of all levels to decide on the line in relations with Chisinau.

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