A small former Soviet republic with about 2.5 million inhabitants, located between Ukraine and Romania, the Romanian-speaking Republic of Moldova fears a destabilisation and expansion of the conflict in Ukraine. A string of explosions last week shook Transnistria, a separatist region on the border with Ukraine, which, backed by Moscow, broke away from Moldova after a brief war in 1992. Russia left a contingent of about 1,500 troops in the area which it has not withdrawn to this day.
Against the background of an internal political instability barely attenuated by the recent coming to power of pro-Europeans and a quasi-continuous economic crisis, Chisinau is watching carefully and anxiously what is happening over the eastern border of the Republic. Moreover, since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Republic of Moldova has generously welcomed all Ukrainians fleeing the war, which has put additional pressure on Europe’s poorest state. Under these conditions, both the European Union and the United States have consistently stated their support for the Moldovan authorities.
This Wednesday, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Chisinau, an opportunity for him to declare that the European Union has a duty to support the Republic of Moldova. He said that Brussels is considering more military support for the Moldovan authorities, which will add to the assistance in the areas of logistics and cyber defense, on which the Union has already agreed. Chisinau has stated that this military assistance does not include lethal armament, only elements of military logistics, command, control and tactical communications. Also, Charles Michel reiterated Brussels’ intention to provide support to the Republic of Moldova in the process of managing the flow of refugees, but also in political and economic terms.
Statements in support of Chisinau also came from across the ocean. Washington has warned against the escalation of tensions after the explosions in Transnistria. Without blaming Moscow, as Kiev has done, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters: „We reiterate the Moldovan government’s calls for calm in response to these events and fully support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova”.
In the US’s view, Russia has already lost the war in Ukraine. Quoted by the Radio Romania correspondent in Washington, the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that President Vladimir Putin defined victory in this war from the start as a takeover of Ukraine and its incorporation into Russia. It is clear that he not been successful, Jen Psaki said. He was planning a victory march on May 9 on the streets of Kyiv. It is clear that this will not happen! He sought to divide NATO and the West. It is clear that this is not happening!
(Roxana Vasile, Radio Romania International)