Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Rogozin will be visiting the Moldovan breakaway province of Transnistria today to celebrate the 25th
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Rogozin will be visiting the Moldovan breakaway province of Transnistria today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the region.
Located in the very East of Moldova, bordering Ukraine, the ethnically-Russian region separated from the country in the early 1990s. Russia maintains over 1000 troops in the statelet and supports the region economically, paying pensions and gas subsidies, the latter ringing to the tune of $6 billion.
Moscow has worked hard to maintain the “frozen conflict” between Moldova and Transnistria, thereby undermining support for the ruling parliamentary coalition in Chisinau, Alliance for European Integration III. The unresolved dispute has increased euroscepticism in Moldova, leading to the 2016 election of the Russian-backed President Igor Dodon.
Moldova is critical to the Kremlin because it, along with Belarus and Ukraine, serves as a buffer between Russia and the EU. By controlling Transnistria, Moscow seeks to prevent any further spread of western influence and draw Moldova closer to Russia. Consequences of this effort can already be seen, as Moldova is moving closer to achieving observer status in Russia’s Eurasian Customs Union.