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Transnistria: Referendum on joining Russia supposedly planned

Transnistria: Referendum on joining Russia supposedly planned

The Transnistria region of Moldova has been controlled by pro-Russian soldiers for years. The region could soon secede.

Part of the Republic of Moldova could secede towards Russia in the future. This emerges from a statement from the renowned think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which reports a possible referendum in Transnistria. The strip of land on the border with Ukraine, which has been breakaway since 1990, is subject to Moldova under international law, but is controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Now Transnistria could defect to Russia. The ISW writes that this could be voted on as early as February 28th. “The pretext for such a call would be the alleged need to protect Russian citizens and ‘compatriots’ in Transnistria from threats from Moldova or NATO or both,” the think tank explains in a statement.

However, the think tank considers any immediate territorial impact of a possible referendum to be unlikely: “The ISW has not observed any clear indications of Russian military preparations for an intervention in Transnistria or Moldova in general.”

Transnistria controlled by pro-Russian separatists

The self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria has had its own government and administration since 1990. Around 1,500 Russian army soldiers are stationed in the region. The population of Transnistria is made up of Ukrainians, Russians and people from Moldova.

Moldova, on the other hand, has 2.6 million inhabitants with a Russian minority and is located between Romania and Ukraine. The country, which was part of the Soviet Union until 1991, has taken a pro-Western turn in recent years, angering Moscow. In 2022, Moldova was granted EU candidate status.

Boris Bondarev

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, governments in Chisinau and Western partner states have been worried that Moldova could suffer the same fate.

Sources: , with news agency AFP

Source: Stern

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