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Russian media: Moscow to consider Transnistria's 'protection' appeal

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 28, 2024 11:55 PM 2 min read
Cadets march along 25 October Street on Republic Day in Tiraspol.
Cadets march along 25 October Street on Republic Day in Tiraspol, the capital of the Russian-controlled Moldovan region of Transnistria, on Sept. 2, 2023. (Peter Dench/Getty Images)
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Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would "consider with attention" the appeal of authorities from the Moscow-controlled Moldovan region of Transnistria for "protection," the Russian state-controlled media RBC wrote on Feb. 28.

The ministry's statement came after Transnistria's officials asked Russia to help end an "economic blockade" by Moldova during the Congress of Deputies earlier the same day. The Congress adopted a declaration that appealed to Moscow to take "measures to protect Transnistria amid growing pressure from Moldova."

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that "the protection of the residents of Transnistria is one of its priorities," RBC claimed.

Transnistria borders Ukraine's Odesa Oblast and is internationally recognized as part of Moldova. Russian troops have occupied Transnistria since the early 1990s when Russia invaded the region under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians.

Concerns around Transnistria arose earlier in February after news emerged that the authorities planned to hold a Congress of Deputies on Feb. 28. A Congress is typically convened in Transnistria when important decisions are announced.

President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the events in Transnistria with his Moldovan counterpart Maia Sandu earlier on Feb. 28 in Tirana, saying that "Russia is trying to destabilize the situation."

Transnistria appeals to Moscow to help end ‘economic blockade’ by Moldova, Russian state media says
Lawmakers in the Russian-controlled Moldovan region of Transnistria have appealed to Moscow to help end an “economic blockade” by Moldova, Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported on Feb. 28.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry called for a peaceful settlement of the "problematic issues" between Chisinau and Tiraspol "without any destructive external interference."

"Ukraine advocates for the swift withdrawal of Russian troops from the Transnistrian region of Moldova, the disposal of ammunition at the Kovbasna depots, and the reformatting of the mission on the Dniester from a military to a civilian one," the statement read.

Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told reporters on Feb. 25 that Transnistria is not planning to organize a referendum on its annexation to Russia.

There have been heightened tensions between Moldova and Transnistria since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine amid fears that armed conflict could erupt in Moldova.

Vadim Krasnoselsky, the Russian proxy leader in Transnistria, called for increased military drills and heightened readiness on Jan. 22 in what he claimed was a response to alleged provocations from Moldova.

Moldova considers Russia's military presence in Transnistria illegitimate and calls for the withdrawal of Russian forces.

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