Separatists in Transnistria apparently ask Russia for “protection”

As of: February 28, 2024 3:35 p.m

EU candidate Moldova has long feared Russian aggression in the separatist region of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine. Now those in power there are turning directly to Moscow and apparently asking for “protection.”

The pro-Russian separatists in the breakaway Moldovan republic have asked Russia for “protection”, according to media reports. A congress of the internationally unrecognized separatist region that borders Ukraine voted for a corresponding resolution, from which Moldovan and Russian media quoted.

Transnistria therefore wants to turn to the Russian Federation Council and the State Duma “with a request to implement measures to protect Transnistria in view of the increasing pressure from Moldova.”

In the resolution, the separatists accuse Moldova of, among other things, an economic blockade of the region and a “destruction of the foundations of independence and statehood.” It was the first special congress of pro-Russian separatists since 2006.

The declaration that has now been adopted speaks of “more than 220,000 Russian citizens” who lived in Transnistria. It remained unclear what specific measures the separatists expected from Moscow.

According to the resolution, in addition to Russia, the separatists are also addressing the OSCE, the European Parliament, the Red Cross and the United Nations with a request to prevent “provocations” that could lead to an “escalation of tensions.”

Concern in Moldova

For EU accession candidate Moldova, which lies between Ukraine and Romania, this news is likely to fuel fears of Russian aggression on its territory – especially because Russia has already stationed its own soldiers in Transnistria for decades. The region has seceded from Moldova since the 1990s.

After the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began in February 2022, Moldovan politicians have repeatedly expressed great concern. Observers also accused Russia of deliberately destabilizing the situation in the region with provocations.

Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselski spoke of a “policy of genocide” in his speech at the congress, according to local media. This is exerted through economic, “physical”, legal and linguistic pressure.

Russian foreignofficial spokesperson speaks of “speculation”

There has so far been no reaction from Moscow to the latest resolution. However, Foreign Office spokeswoman Maria Sakharova previously called fears about Russia’s possible annexation plans “speculation”. “In Chisinau there has been speculation for days about possible decisions of the forum. Apparently this panic has also reached NATO,” she said when asked.

According to her statement, NATO is trying to “literally create a second Ukraine out of the region, regardless of the majority opinion in Moldova. No thought whatsoever is given to the possible consequences of this for the country and the region.”

Björn Blaschke, WDR, currently Chisinau, tagesschau, February 28, 2024 3:42 p.m

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