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From Crimea to Transdniestr

Fears are growing in Bucharest and Chisinau that Transdniestr might become the next Crimea.

From Crimea to Transdniestr
Foto: rri.ro

Articol de Radio România Internaţional, 25 Martie 2014, 08:09

Political analysts and Western countries fear Putin’s expansionist design for Eastern Europe is far from being over with the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

The breakaway region in southern Ukraine is a textbook case of frozen conflict, which risks turning overnight into a region-threatening blaze.

The Nagorno-Karabakh province in southern Azerbaijan with an Armenian ethnic majority, the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, and Transdniestr in the Republic of Moldova, are all hotbeds of pro-Russian separatism.

Each of these regions turned arms against their national authorities in the 1990s, moving within Moscow’s sphere of influence.

This might be the perfect excuse for a Russian military intervention in the region, as Moscow will do everything to secure the de facto independence of the regions under its control.

Since the leader in Kremlin has for the time being chosen to remain silent, it was the Speaker of the Higher Chamber of the Russian Parliament Valentina Matviyenko who said that any talks regarding a possible annexation of Transdniestr, Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the Russian Federation were inappropriate, adding that the leaders of the three regions had not submitted any requests to Moscow in that respect.

Matviyenko responded to rumors in the Russian press regarding a letter sent to the Russian Parliament President Serghei Naryshkin by the Speaker of the Parliament in Tiraspol Mihai Burla, calling on him to consider a request to make Transdniestr part of the Russian Federation.

The NATO Supreme Commander of European Command, General Phillip Breedlove, doesn’t seem convinced by Russia’s reassuring statements.

He pointed out that NATO officials were quite concerned with the prospects of a Russian attack on Odessa or Transdniestr. Russia, he added, has enough military forces deployed on Ukraine’s eastern border to get as far as Transdniestr if it wills.

In Bucharest, president Traian Basescu likened the Black Sea to a Russian lake, saying it is surrounded by several frozen conflicts, each involving the presence of Russian military troops.

In turn, Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean expressed hope that Russia would respect Moldova’s EU integration efforts, which may be shattered very quickly if the conflict in Transdniestr escalates.

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