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Transnistria appeals to Moscow to help end 'economic blockade' by Moldova, Russian state media says

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 28, 2024 4:14 PM 2 min read
Decoration in the colors of the flag of Transnistria in preparation for Republic Day in Tiraspol on Aug. 31, 2023. (Peter Dench/Getty Images)
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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.

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 of Deputies is typically convened in Transnistria when important decisions are announced.

Russian state-owned news agency TASS claimed that at the Congress of Deputies, Transnistrian lawmakers and officials adopted a declaration that appealed to Russia to take "measures to protect Transnistria amid growing pressure from Moldova."

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said on Feb. 20 that Kyiv will "firmly respond" to any attempts to involve Transnistria in Russia's war and destablize Moldova.

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. "No one is going to join the Russian Federation on the 28th," Budanov said.

There have been heightened tensions between Moldova and Transnistria since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine when there were 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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