An ideal conflict on the Dniester; Twenty five years after the end of the war, a resolution to the frozen conflict over Transnistria seems no closer. This situation suits plenty of people at the top just fine.

Moldovan Dancers Dancing with Peace Corps Volunteers

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Soloviev – July 21, 2017) Vladimir Soloviev is founder and editor-in-chief of Newsmaker. He is also Moldova correspondent for Kommersant. On 21 July 1992, the armed conflict in Transnistria came to an end. A Russian peacekeeping mission was introduced to this self-declared republic on the east bank of the Dniester river, internationally recognised as Moldovan territory. After […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] [j]oint news conference with President of Moldova Igor Dodon

Moldova Map and Flag

(Kremlin.ru – January 17, 2017) Vladimir Putin and Igor Dodon gave a joint news conference following the Russia-Moldova talks. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, Our talks with the Moldovan President were held in a constructive and I would also say friendly atmosphere. They were concrete and covered issues of mutual interest. We have discussed […]

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Putin Weaponizes Democracy

Europe Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – November 14, 2016) [RFE/RL budget: $108.414 million (FY2016)] Don’t look now but Russia just picked up two more allies in Europe. Don’t look now, but pro-Moscow candidates just won the presidencies of Moldova and Bulgaria. Don’t look now, but Vladimir Putin appears to be on a roll. The Kremlin leader is no democrat. […]

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Moldova’s Pro-Moscow Presidential Front-Runner Says Open To EU Partnership

Moldova Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – November 1, 2016) Igor Dodon, who won the first round of Moldova’s presidential election and is seen as having strong leanings toward Russia, says he will seek to maintain good relations with both Brussels and Moscow if elected. “I believe that we must and we will have good relations with the European Union,” the Socialist Party […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Moldovan Presidental Election Goes to Runoff” – AP

Moldova Map and Flag

Moldova’s presidential election will go to a runoff after a pro-Russian candidate narrowly missed winning a majority … Igor Dodon won 48.26 percent, while pro-European rival Maia Sandu scored 38.42 percent. … Moldovans, angry about high-level corruption, were divided about whether to seek closer integration into Europe or rekindle ties with Moscow. Click here for AP: “Moldovan Presidental Election Goes […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Long Arm of Russian ‘Soft’ Power” – Atlantic Council/Orysia Lutsevych

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Anxious about losing ground to Western influence in the post-Soviet space and the ousting of pro-Russia elites by popular electoral uprisings in the early 2000s, the Kremlin has developed a range of proxy groups in support of its foreign policy. This network of pro-Kremlin groups promotes the Russian World (Russkiy Mir), a flexible tool that justifies increasing Russian actions in […]

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TRANSCRIPT: DNI – Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [excerpt re: Russia] – Statement for the Record

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Senate Armed Services Committee – James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence – February 9, 2016) Leading Threat Actors Russia. Russia is assuming a more assertive cyber posture based on its willingness to target critical infrastructure systems and conduct espionage operations even when detected and under increased public scrutiny. Russian cyber operations are likely to target US interests to support […]

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Interfax: Half of Russians back independence of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdniestria

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Interfax – September 21, 2015) Half of Russians deem Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be independent states and think that these republics and Transdniestria should have formal independent status, the Levada Center has told Interfax. According to the poll of 800 respondents held in 134 populated localities in 46 regions on August 21-24, practically half (47 percent) of respondents see […]

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Transnistria: West Berlin of the post-Soviet world

Rada File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Sergei Markedonov, Associate Professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities – May 27, 2015) How to play hardball: Ukraine’s parliament has revoked the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the movement of Russian troops through Ukrainian territory to Transnistria. Fresh intrigue is afoot in the Transnistrian ‘frozen’ conflict. On 21 May, Ukraine’s parliament the Verkhovna Rada […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Disenchanted With Europe, Moldovans Shift Their Focus to Russia

Moldova Map and Flag

Daniela Morari, a Foreign Ministry official who has been traveling her country trying to nudge Moldovans toward the European Union, has heard it all. People are worried that “if you join the E.U., everyone becomes gay” and that Brussels bureaucrats “won’t let you keep animals around your houses,” an alarming prospect in a largely rural country.

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The Riga summit of disappointment

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 21, 2015) Several plucky countries of Emerging Europe have put their necks on the block by defying Russian bullying to join its Customs Union, turning instead to the EU and its promise of a better life. But most of these countries are likely to be disappointed, or could […]

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Moscow To Kyiv, Tbilisi, And Chisinau: EU Deals Will Cost You

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – July 6, 2014) Russia has never hidden how it feels about neighbors forging closer ties with the European Union. So it was no surprise when Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said there would be “grave consequences” for Ukraine when it signed a landmark deal on closer economic ties with Brussels on June 27. Georgia and Moldova signed […]

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EU Association Agreements Not Seen as Threat to Russian Economy

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 27, 2014) With Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova set to sign the economic sections of association agreements with the European Union on Friday, analysts say the deals will have minimal impact on the Russian economy but will further broaden the political schism between Russia and its neighbors. Russia should not lose more […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine, Moldova to Lose Billions over EU Association Deals

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine and Moldova’s struggling economies could face multi-billion-dollar losses after signing association agreements with the European Union, Russian experts warn. “Countries that sign this association [deal] agree to fall in line with all EU directives, standards and technical regulations – and this is at their own expense. Even if the EU gives them certain […]

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Transnistria is a bridge too far for Russia

Moldovan Dancers Dancing with Peace Corps Volunteers

(opendemocracy.net – Pål Kolstø – June 11, 2014) Pål Kolstø is a professor of Russia, Central Europe and the Balkans in the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo, Norway. The breakaway republic – de facto state – of Transnistria has steadily been edging closer and closer to Russia, but the Kremlin does not […]

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Unraveling the Kremlin’s Strategic Paradigm

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 89 – Robert McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 13, 2014) Since the eruption of the Ukraine crisis, Russian and Western commentators have tried to define those elements of Russian actions and policymaking that constitute “new” factors in Moscow’s relations with the West and its neighbors. On May 9, for example, with […]

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Moldova, Georgia Brace For Russian Retaliation After EU Pact

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Claire Bigg – November 29, 2013) Georgian and Moldovan leaders were all smiles as they finished initialing their Association Agreements with the European Union, a key milestone in their bid for membership of the 28-nation bloc. Despite the happy faces and handshakes, however, the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, deepened fears of harsh retaliation from […]

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Interfax: More people in Moldova prefer Customs Union to EU membership – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

CHISINAU. Nov 18 (Interfax) – A public opinion poll conducted by the Romanian sociological research company CCSB has shown that 48% of Moldovan citizens support the country’s accession to the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union and 42% would choose the European Union. CCSB expert Alexandru Larionescu said at a press conference on Friday that the respondents were asked whether they support or […]

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An Old Game With New Rules In Russia’s Backyard

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 27, 2013) A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow. With the Kremlin’s tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor’s […]

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The Magnitsky Money: From Russia … And Then What?

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson, Richard Solash – March 11, 2013) What if $230 million went missing and no one wanted to get it back? That is the puzzling question posed by Russia’s years of unwillingness to investigate the well-documented fraud claims made by lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky. At least half a dozen European Union countries, plus Switzerland, […]

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