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Moldova, Ukraine Wage Hybrid War Against Transnistria

© Sputnik / Sergey Kuznecov / Go to the mediabankNina Shtanski
Nina Shtanski - Sputnik International
Ukraine and Moldova are waging a hybrid war against Transnistria, Foreign Minister Nina Shtanski told St. Petersburg’s Channel 5 in an interview.

Transnistria hopes that Russia will protect the small Moldovan region, a de-facto independent state, if Ukraine decides to invade it, Shtanski said.

"People in Transnistria know well that Russia will not leave them," Shtanski told Channel 5, according to Regnum News Agency.

According to the foreign minister, Ukraine and Moldova are waging a hybrid war against her country. Although there is no direct military threat yet, both Kiev and Chisinau started an economic blockade, information warfare and other methods of isolation.

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In this situation, Shtanski stressed that "the hopes of Transnistrians are solely with Russia", adding that Transnistria is grateful for political support and economic assistance provided by Russia. Without the help from Russia, the region would be hit by a severe socio-economic crisis, the foreign minister said.

Since March of 2006, Transnistria has been under an economic blockade carried out by Moldova and Ukraine. Last year, both Chisinau and Kiev tightened their economic sanctions that caused a sharp deterioration of the economic situation in Transnistria.

This year, the Ukrainian government went even further and banned the transfer of ethyl alcohol, beers, spirits, tobacco, petroleum products, liquefied gas and cars into Transnistria. Simultaneously, Moldova started to prosecute merchants who import goods to Transnistria, accusing them of "illegal smuggling", Regnum reported.

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Together with the economic blockade, Ukraine is increasing its activity by carrying out military drills and bringing in equipment near the borders of Transnistria. Furthermore, last month Ukraine decided to block Russian peacekeepers from entering Transnistria, thus violating the 1992 peace agreement between Moldova and Transnistria. This undermines Kiev's status as one of the guarantors of the Transnistrian peace process and could potentially destabilize regional security.

Transnistria is internationally recognized as part of the Republic of Moldova, but is a de-facto independent state. The region declared its independence from Moldova after the War of Transnistria in 1990-1992, which ended with a ceasefire on July 21, 1992. As per the 1992 ceasefire agreement, a 1,200 member Russian peacekeeper contingent was established and is still present in Transnistria.    

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