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Russian-controlled Transnistria asks Moscow for more 'peacekeepers'
Leonid Manakov, who represents Transnistria in Moscow, requested more Russian "peacekeepers" due to the "deteriorating security situation" in an interview with Russian state media Sputnik on May 8.
Transnistria is a breakaway region internationally recognized as part of Moldova, kept afloat with the help of the illegal presence of Russian troops.
According to Manakov, he has "repeatedly" made requests for an increase in the number of the so-called peacekeepers, including a request to recruit from among Russian citizens currently residing in Transnistria.
The current number of Russian "peacekeepers" does not exceed 450, Manakov claimed.
The legal framework of the Joint Control Commission, which was established between Moldova, Russia, and proxies in Transnistria following the Transnistria War in 1992, allows for up to 3,100 personnel, Manakov added.
Russian propagandists have claimed that Ukraine, Moldova, or NATO are preparing an attack on Transnistria, adding on Feb. 24 that "an attack on Transnistria would be "an attack on the Russian Federation."
There is speculation that this is a facade for a Russian plan to invade or destabilize Moldova.
On Feb. 21, Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Rechan confirmed in an interview with Moldova's TV8 that authorities were aware of "several" Russian destabilization scenarios, including Russia's plan to take control of the Chisinau airport.
Responding to Makarov's request, Moldovan media outlet Newsmaker reported on May 8 that the country's Reintegration Bureau said it was "necessary to clarify the status of the so-called representation on behalf of which Mr. Manakov is speaking."
Additionally, the Reintegration Bureau said that"the parties who signed the agreement of July 21, 1992, can talk about the mechanism of the peacekeeping forces, and not people who have nothing to do with it."
Russia committed to withdraw its forces from Transnistria by Dec. 31, 2002, a commitment which it never fulfilled.
In March 2022, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized Transnistria as "a Moldovan territory occupied by Russia."