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Ukraine and Moldova Poised to Ramp Up Pressure on Transnistria to Trigger Crisis

© AFP 2023 / Aleksey FILIPPOVSoviet orders are displayed on a large billboard along the main thoroughfare entering Tiraspol, capital of the self-proclaimed Moldovan Republic of Transnistria on April 3, 2017.
Soviet orders are displayed on a large billboard along the main thoroughfare entering Tiraspol, capital of the self-proclaimed Moldovan Republic of Transnistria on April 3, 2017. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.02.2024
Lawmakers in the breakaway region of Transnistria implored Russia to help the region over the economic pressure exerted by Moldova this week.
Transnistria legislators sent a request to the Russian parliament asking for help in the predominantly Russian-speaking region that proclaimed its independence from Moldova during the fall of the Soviet Union.
Commenting on this development, Pyotr Arefiev of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation told Sputnik that Transnistria has long sought reunification with Russia, which does not please Moldova which exerts pressure over the region and imposes sanctions on it.
Noting how Moldova continues to export its agricultural produce, Arefiev suggested that Moscow could impose sanctions on these exports while at the same time move to import more goods from Transnistria.
He noted, however, that cargo between Russia and Transnistria at this time is somewhat problematic because Transnistria is currently “blocked from all sides” by countries unfriendly to Russia (Moldova and Ukraine).
Thus, Arefiev said, Russia can support Transnistria by exerting pressure on Moldova.
At the same time, he pointed out that Moldova and Ukraine may ramp up the pressure on Transnistria to cause an escalation in the region.
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Meanwhile, political analyst Vladimir Bruter of the International Institute for Humanities and Political Studies, observed that no one besides Russia wants to help Transnistria because the latter is regarded in Europe as a “hostile pro-Russian enclave.”
He also predicted that both Ukraine and Moldova are going to increase pressure on the region, suggesting that the situation is related to the Ukrainian conflict – specifically, to the progress Russian forces are making towards the port city of Odessa which lies not far from Transnistria.
“There is a whole chain of interrelations, Washington-Kishinev-Kiev. So of course they would love to use their security forces to wipe out this pro-Russian enclave,” he said.
Bruter also argued that it is both a good and bad thing when others ask Russia for help.
According to him, “Russia is not the supreme institutor of justice in the world because it simply gets blocked,” and that Russia should first and foremost follow its own interests.
He further suggested that Western media will never allow an image of Russia as the champion of ordinary people’s interests to form abroad, simply because they are designed that way.
“Thus Western media block all possible relations between Western people and Russia, demanding that such relations were to be handled by the part of Western elites that is adversarial towards Russia,” Bruter said, adding that this practice dates back to the days when the USSR existed.
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