A safe road to the territory of "Transnistria" What does Russia want from Moldova?

A safe road to the territory of "Transnistria" What does Russia want from Moldova? Russian forces continue to try to control the length of the country's coastal strip, while shifting the battle to Ukraine's east and south. However, its ambition goes beyond that to create a corridor linking the breakaway region of Transnistria in northern Moldova, which could lead to the third world war.  Two months into the Russian offensive on Ukraine, the commander of Russia's Central Military District, Rustam Minkayev, said the Kremlin has plans to cross into breakaway Transnistria, in northern Moldova, as part of a strategy to create a land corridor to Crimea, which the Russians occupied in 2014.  "Control of southern Ukraine is another path to Transnistria, where facts indicate the persecution of the Russian-speaking population," Minakiyev said during a meeting of the defense industry in Russia's Sverdlovsk region. He added that his country is in a war "against the world" and that "even if we were not the ones who started it, we are the ones who will end it."  Russia sees the entry into the region as an extension of its plan to control the coastal strip of Ukraine, and has also supported the separatists there with the Russian majority, as well as curbing Moldova's accession to the European Union after submitting an official request to do so last March. However, this step may widen the circle of war, and threaten to turn it into a world war with a high probability of entering NATO and the European Union on the front line.  Moscow eyes on Moldova  Transnistria declared its secession from Moldova shortly after the country's independence from the Soviet Union, as it is unlike the rest of Moldovan soil, as the region in the north of the country has a majority of the population of Russians and Ukrainians. Similar to what happened previously in Georgian Abkhazia and South Ossetia and is happening in the Ukrainian Donbass, Russia justifies its ambition in Transnistria by defending the Russian minority, which is allegedly suffering persecution.  By contrast, Russia's military presence in Transnistria dates back to 1992, when Moscow stationed an estimated 1,500 of its soldiers there as "peacekeepers". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on whether Russia has identified additional targets in Transnistria, and also refused to comment on how Moscow sees the political future of southern Ukraine.  Since mid-March, Russian forces have been seeking to control the city of Odessa and isolate Ukraine from the Black Sea coast, after they succeeded in bringing down Kherson in its grip. However, her progress in this endeavor remains dependent on her success in the battle of Mykolaiv, which is still resisting. According to the American "World Politics Review" website, "If Russian forces capture Odessa in the coming days, they can officially recognize Transnistria's independence with its annexation of the Odessa region under Russian military occupation."  Threat of world war?  The Moldovan Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him of the country's protest against the statements of the commander of the Central Military District of the Russian army. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it expressed its deep concern and demanded respect for the sovereignty of its territory.  Transnistria is a major point of contention between Moscow and Chisinau, and the Moldovan government has previously opposed the Russian military presence, and the country's President, Maya Sandu, has demanded its evacuation more than once since she took office in 2020. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in a statement That: "Russia violates the territorial integrity of Moldova with its troops in Transnistria."  The presence of the Russian ambassador last December at the inauguration ceremony of the unrecognized President of the Republic in Transnistria aroused the resentment of Moldova, which responded in a statement to its foreign ministry in which it said: “The so-called presidential elections in Transnistria are illegal and contrary to Moldova’s constitutional foundations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration is looking into to the participation of the head of the Russian diplomatic mission in such actions as an unfriendly step."  On 3 March, the President of Moldova signed an official application to join the European Union. "It took 30 years for Moldova to reach maturity, but today the country is ready to take responsibility for its future," Sandu said, before presenting the signed application document in front of the media cameras. "We want to live in peace and prosperity and be part of the free world," she added.  The step to join the European Union, in which Russia sees the entry of the former Soviet Union countries into the European Union as a threat to its national security. However, the Moldovan situation is different from its Ukrainian counterpart, as with Ukraine's request to join the European Union in pursuit of direct protection from its countries, it will continue to face the problem that there is no mechanism for an immediate response to that request. Unlike Moldova, which could join it immediately, if it agreed to unite its lands with the Romanian lands through a quick referendum. This step will also enable it to join NATO, of which Romania has been a member since 2004.  Moldova actually began discussing this idea even before the outbreak of the Russian attack on Ukraine. At the time, the country's president, Maya Sandu, stated that "many Moldovan people want union with Romania and thus merge with the European Union and NATO."

Russian forces continue to try to control the length of the country's coastal strip, while shifting the battle to Ukraine's east and south. However, its ambition goes beyond that to create a corridor linking the breakaway region of Transnistria in northern Moldova, which could lead to the third world war.

Two months into the Russian offensive on Ukraine, the commander of Russia's Central Military District, Rustam Minkayev, said the Kremlin has plans to cross into breakaway Transnistria, in northern Moldova, as part of a strategy to create a land corridor to Crimea, which the Russians occupied in 2014.

"Control of southern Ukraine is another path to Transnistria, where facts indicate the persecution of the Russian-speaking population," Minakiyev said during a meeting of the defense industry in Russia's Sverdlovsk region. He added that his country is in a war "against the world" and that "even if we were not the ones who started it, we are the ones who will end it."

Russia sees the entry into the region as an extension of its plan to control the coastal strip of Ukraine, and has also supported the separatists there with the Russian majority, as well as curbing Moldova's accession to the European Union after submitting an official request to do so last March. However, this step may widen the circle of war, and threaten to turn it into a world war with a high probability of entering NATO and the European Union on the front line.

Moscow eyes on Moldova
Transnistria declared its secession from Moldova shortly after the country's independence from the Soviet Union, as it is unlike the rest of Moldovan soil, as the region in the north of the country has a majority of the population of Russians and Ukrainians. Similar to what happened previously in Georgian Abkhazia and South Ossetia and is happening in the Ukrainian Donbass, Russia justifies its ambition in Transnistria by defending the Russian minority, which is allegedly suffering persecution.

By contrast, Russia's military presence in Transnistria dates back to 1992, when Moscow stationed an estimated 1,500 of its soldiers there as "peacekeepers". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on whether Russia has identified additional targets in Transnistria, and also refused to comment on how Moscow sees the political future of southern Ukraine.

Since mid-March, Russian forces have been seeking to control the city of Odessa and isolate Ukraine from the Black Sea coast, after they succeeded in bringing down Kherson in its grip. However, her progress in this endeavor remains dependent on her success in the battle of Mykolaiv, which is still resisting. According to the American "World Politics Review" website, "If Russian forces capture Odessa in the coming days, they can officially recognize Transnistria's independence with its annexation of the Odessa region under Russian military occupation."

Threat of world war?
The Moldovan Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him of the country's protest against the statements of the commander of the Central Military District of the Russian army. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it expressed its deep concern and demanded respect for the sovereignty of its territory.

Transnistria is a major point of contention between Moscow and Chisinau, and the Moldovan government has previously opposed the Russian military presence, and the country's President, Maya Sandu, has demanded its evacuation more than once since she took office in 2020. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in a statement That: "Russia violates the territorial integrity of Moldova with its troops in Transnistria."

The presence of the Russian ambassador last December at the inauguration ceremony of the unrecognized President of the Republic in Transnistria aroused the resentment of Moldova, which responded in a statement to its foreign ministry in which it said: “The so-called presidential elections in Transnistria are illegal and contrary to Moldova’s constitutional foundations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration is looking into to the participation of the head of the Russian diplomatic mission in such actions as an unfriendly step."

On 3 March, the President of Moldova signed an official application to join the European Union. "It took 30 years for Moldova to reach maturity, but today the country is ready to take responsibility for its future," Sandu said, before presenting the signed application document in front of the media cameras. "We want to live in peace and prosperity and be part of the free world," she added.

The step to join the European Union, in which Russia sees the entry of the former Soviet Union countries into the European Union as a threat to its national security. However, the Moldovan situation is different from its Ukrainian counterpart, as with Ukraine's request to join the European Union in pursuit of direct protection from its countries, it will continue to face the problem that there is no mechanism for an immediate response to that request. Unlike Moldova, which could join it immediately, if it agreed to unite its lands with the Romanian lands through a quick referendum. This step will also enable it to join NATO, of which Romania has been a member since 2004.

Moldova actually began discussing this idea even before the outbreak of the Russian attack on Ukraine. At the time, the country's president, Maya Sandu, stated that "many Moldovan people want union with Romania and thus merge with the European Union and NATO."
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