Is Moldova the Kremlin’s Next Target?

, a predominantly Russian-speaking region of , has been vocal about its desire for Russia's ‘protection'. The journey to this point started in 1991 when Transnistria chose to secede from Moldova following the latter's independence, resulting in a territorial dispute.

Stepping in as a mediator, Russia managed to resolve this . As a part of this resolution, Moldova offered autonomy to Transnistria, but this came at a cost – Russia's ‘neutrality'.

Transnistria exhibits many symbols of an independent state and is even host to Russia's 14th Army. This shows a clear pro-Russian preference, despite Moldova holding associations with . In fact, Moldova is even striving to secure membership of the European Union.

Russia's Stance and Moldova's EU Aspirations

In a direct response to Moldova's aspirations of joining the EU, Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, made a bold move by revoking the decree that acknowledged Chisinau's sovereignty over Transnistria. This indicates Russia's readiness to exert pressure on Moldova through destabilization efforts, interference, and intimidation tactics.

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There are suggestions from Russian officials that Moldova might be the Kremlin's next focus point. Amidst the worsening relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol (Transnistria's capital), the Transnistrian president has instructed and security ministers to prepare for a potential conflict, in January.

Transnistria's Plea for Protection

Transnistrian lawmakers have appealed to Russia for protection against the escalating pressure from Moldova. This plea isn't just limited to Russia – requests for safeguarding against abuses from Chisinau have also been made to the OSCE, UN, and EU.

It is worth noting that a 2006 referendum on Transnistria's desire to join Russia was overwhelmingly positive, with 97% of votes in favor. However, Russia did not react to this result.

Recent diplomatic indications from Russia suggest that the safety of Transnistria's residents and attention to their demands could be a priority in the near future.

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