Breakaway Transnistria Asks Russia For 'Protection' - Setting Stage For Military Intervention

As previously predicted, things are erupting in Transnistria at a moment Western officials have warned Moscow not to expand its war beyond Ukraine. The breakaway pro-Russian Moldova region on Wednesday issued a formal request from Moscow for "protection" "in the face of increased pressure," according to AFP.

A special congress of pro-Russian officials passed a resolution which charges the Moldovan government in Chisinau with unleashing "economic war" against Transnistria with an aim to turn it into a "ghetto", which has included blocking imports.

Russian and Transnistrian soldiers march in 2016, in Tiraspol, capital of the breakaway region of Transnistria. Image: Transnistrian diplomacy website

While internationally, the thin sliver of land has been internationally recognized as part of Moldova, it has been under Russian troop presence going all the way back to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The breakaway republic issued a statement further saying "the decisions of the current congress cannot be ignored by the international community."

The formal request is expected to be put before Russia's Federation Council and the State Duma at any moment. It asks for Russia "to implement measures to protect Transnistria in the face of increased pressure from Moldova" - and clearly this language suggests military intervention, or else other measures like immense economic and political pressure on Moldova.

Last year, the Council of Europe formally declared Moldova's breakaway region "occupied territory" - upgrading its status from what was deemed territory "under the effective control of the Russian Federation."

As we previewed days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to make a speech before the Federal Assembly of Russia on February 29th. 

Although Transnistria has diverse ethnic demographics almost equally apportioned between Russians, Moldovans, Romanians and Ukrainians, the Russian demographic slightly ekes out its counterparts with a plurality of 29% of Transnistrians belonging to the group.

The pro-Russian cultural sentiment of the region is exemplified by its flag, which has remained the same as it was when Transnistria was a part of the Soviet Union. That representative Russian demographic, coupled with broader dissatisfaction of the Moldovan government, has fostered support for assimilation into the Russian Federation for quite some time.

Via BBC

In 2006, a Transnistrian double referendum gauged popular support for the separatist state's appetite to either renounce its independence and join the Republic Of Moldova, or to maintain it and seek to join the Russian Federation. The referendum to become part of Moldova was rejected by 96% of voters while 98% approved of becoming part of Russia.

The support for assimilation into the Russian Federation demonstrated by that referendum has not waned. If anything, the 2014 Crimean referendum to integrate itself with Russia, and the subsequent western interventionism culminating in the onset of Russia-Ukraine War, has only emboldened Transnistria's aim. 

Vadim Krasnoselskii, President Of Transnistria, evidenced his people's dissatisfaction with Moldova's rule over the breakaway region by announcing the congressional assembly will deliberate over the future of the breakaway region, which resulted in the strong statement urging Russian 'protection' on Wednesday.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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