Moldova's Security Dilemma: Transnistria, EU Aspirations, and Russia's Influence

Analysis of our Researcher Edina Julianna Haiszky

This analysis explores the geopolitical dynamics surrounding Transnistria, a self-proclaimed separatist entity situated between Moldova and Ukraine. Initially emerging following Moldova's disintegration from the Soviet Union, Transnistria de facto maintains self-governing status, backed by Russia's political and military support. Strategically positioned as a buffer zone between Ukraine and Moldova, Transnistria serves as a foothold for projecting Russian influence in the region, impeding Moldova's aspirations for integration with Western institutions. Economically, Transnistria's industrial base presents opportunities for economic cooperation with Russia, although recent geopolitical shifts have prompted a reorientation of trade towards Western Europe. The recent plea from Transnistria's authorities for greater "protection" from Russia underscores Moscow's pivotal role in the region's security affairs, potentially escalating tensions with Moldova and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moldova navigates a delicate balance between Russia and the West, facing challenges to its sovereignty and territorial integrity amidst Russia's multifaceted approach encompassing economic, political, and military dimensions. Moldova's future hinges on leveraging its European identity, strategic advantages, and fostering internal cohesion to overcome the challenges posed by Russian influence operations.

Download the full analysis here: