Russian officials warn of rising tensions in Moldova’s separatist region of Transnistria

By bne IntelliNews May 25, 2015

bne IntelliNews -


Tensions in Moldova’s pro-Russian separatist region Transnistria have increased, the president of the region, Evgheni Sevciuk, was quoted by Deutsche Welle as saying on May 22, after Ukraine terminated an agreement with Russia on the transit of Russian troops to and from Transnistria.

The Ukrainian parliament’s decision to formally cancel transit rights for Russian troops has created major logistical problems for Russian troops stationed in the Moldovan separatist republic of Transnistria. Under an agreement signed in Sochi in November 1995, Kyiv allowed Russia to transit troops to Transnistria through Ukrainian territory.

Russia stations between 1,000 and 1,500 troops in Transnistria, officially to protect the 20,000 tonnes of military equipment and ammunition that have remained on Moldovan territory since the days when it was part of the Soviet Union. Some 70% of the Russian troops are, however, of Transnistrian origin, DW states.

The delicate military situation comes on top of economic challenges for the separatist region. Public wages and pensions have been cut by 30%, supposedly temporarily but with no clear deadline. The remaining 70% is often left unpaid as revenues to the budget have plunged. Industrial activity contracted a further 17% in April, and half of industrial production is currently generated by power production that is primarily delivered to Moldova, and produced from Russian gas that is not paid for.

Transnistria is under siege and in eastern Moldova a war could occur, Russian MP Leonid Kalashnikov stressed. Both Moldova and Ukraine have signed Association Agreements with the EU, and they are exerting economic pressures on Transnistria, he argued. No Transnistrian company is included by Moldova on the list of entities that can trade freely on the European markets, he added.

Ukraine's attempts to destabilise the situation in Transnistria could be important under the circumstances of an open conflict in Ukraine, President Sevciuk stressed.

Meanwhile, the New York Times examined how, in a long feature headlined "Moldova Eyes Russia’s Embrace as Flirtation With Europe Fades" published on May 21, Moldovans are tiring of efforts to join the EU and are instead looking toeward Russia. It cited a recent opinion poll carried out by the Institute for Public Policy, a Moldova research group, which found that only 32% of those surveyed would support joining the EU (an option not currently available), while 50% said they would prefer to join the Russian-led trade bloc the Eurasian Economic Union (which would accept Moldova now with open arms). Over all, support for the EU in Moldova has plummeted to 40% this year from 78% in 2007.

The paper quoted an unnamed senior European diplomat as saying that Moldova’s pro-European politicians were “very good at singing the European song” to impress Brussels. But in reality, he told the paper they have mucked up and in doing so, discredited both their own pro-European parties and the EU. "As a result, the diplomat added, many ordinary people now believe that 'Russia cannot be any worse',” the apper reported.



Related Articles

Macedonia kept on hold as Balkans edges towards EU goal

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest -   Macedonia’s EU accession progress remains stalled amid the country’s worst political crisis in 14 years, while most countries in the Southeast Europe region have ... more

Mystery Latvian linked to Scottish shell companies denies role in $1bn Moldova bank fraud

Graham Stack in Berlin - A Latvian financier linked to the mass production of Scottish shell companies has denied to bne IntelliNews any involvement in the $1bn Moldovan bank fraud that has caused ... more

Austria's Erste rides CEE recovery to swing to profit in Jan-Sep

bne IntelliNews - Erste Group Bank saw the continuing economic recovery across Central and Eastern Europe push its January-September financial results back into net profit of €764.2mn, the ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.