Moldovan breakaway region asks Russia to protect its economy from pressure

By Thomson Reuters Feb 28, 2024 | 7:48 AM

CHISINAU (Reuters) – Officials of the Russian-backed Moldovan breakaway region of Transdniestria asked Russia on Wednesday to help protect it from what it what described as concerted economic pressure by the Moldovan government.

The “congress of deputies of all levels”, attended by several ministers in the breakaway government, passed a resolution that agreed to “appeal to the Federation Council and the State Duma of Russia with a request to implement measures to protect Transdniestria in the face of increasing pressure from Moldova”.

The unrecognised statelet, which borders war-stricken Ukraine to the east, has maintained autonomy from the Chisinau government for three decades with support from Moscow, which has more than a thousand troops stationed there.

Moldova’s government introduced customs regulations this year requiring companies in Transdniestria to pay import duties into the Moldovan budget.

The region’s economy minister told the congress, held in the regional capital Tiraspol, that this had cut the customs revenues paid into Transdniestria’s budget by 18%.

“There is social and economic pressure on Transdniestria, which directly contradicts European principles and approaches to the protection of human rights and free trade,” read the text of the resolution.

Before it was passed, Moldovan government spokesman Daniel Voda said: “This is a propaganda event, a trap that does not deserve the attention of foreign journalists or sensational headlines in news bulletins.”

(Reporting by Alexander Tanas; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Heavens)