Transnistria seeks Russia’s help

10:49 01.03.2024 •

Tiraspol is the capital of Transnistria
Photo: mykaleidoscope

Kremlin-allied breakaway region claimed that Chișinău is ramping up “pressure” — and now it needs Moscow’s help.

Politicians in Moldova’s Kremlin-backed breakaway region of Transnistria have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to “protect” it against “pressure” from Chișinău.

The legislators put forward a request to both the Federation Council and State Duma of Russia, urging them to implement measures to safeguard Transnistria, especially in light of Moldova’s growing pressure. This request is backed up by the fact that over 220,000 Russian citizens reside in Transnistria.

“[We resolved to] appeal to the Federation Council and the State Duma of the Russian Federation, requesting measures to protect Transnistria amidst increased pressure from Moldova,” read a resolution adopted by hundreds of Transnistrian politicians in Tiraspol, the region’s capital and largest city.

The appeal stops short of directly asking Moscow to integrate Transnistria into Russia, as had been predicted by one Transnistrian opposition politician in the days before the resolution was adopted.

The bill's authors pointed to the unique and positive experience of Russia’s peacekeeping work in the region and highlighted that Moscow has served as a mediator in negotiations.

"The critical situation requires urgent and maximum active international intervention in order to prevent an escalation of tensions and not allow the situation to develop into a crisis," the document says.

Transnistria, which sits along Moldova’s border with Ukraine and is mostly populated by Russians, Ukrainians and Moldovans, has functioned as an unrecognized state since the fall of the Soviet Union, keeping its Soviet-era hammer and sickle flag and using Russian as one of its official languages.

In 2006, an internationally unrecognized referendum was held on the “free accession of Transnistria to the Russian Federation,” which was officially backed by 98 percent of Transnistrian voters.

Since then, however, Moscow has resisted any further steps. Nevertheless, Russia maintains around a 1,500-strong military presence in the region – the peacekeepers.

The Russian foreign ministry said Wednesday that the protection of Transnistrian residents, including Russian citizens, is one of its priorities. They promised to consider the appeal.


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