War in neighbouring Ukraine has created new challenges and complicated old ones for Moldova. Not least among them is the future of Transnistria, a breakaway region that, with Russian support, has been de facto independent since 1992 and hosts a Russian military presence. But Moldova, which received candidate status in the EU in June 2022, must also define its role in Europe and European security. Crisis Group monitors developments related to the Transnistrian conflict, Russia’s attempts to influence Moldovan politics and the Russia-Ukraine war’s repercussions for the country’s stability. In its advocacy, Crisis Group recommendations emphasise ways forward on Transnistria, mitigating the dangers of the war in Ukraine and Moldova’s role in the evolving European security order. 

CrisisWatch Moldova

Unchanged Situation

Opposition deputies formed anti-European bloc as ruling party received greenlight for referendum on European integration.

Court approved vote on EU membership as opposition politicians met in Russia. Constitutional Court 16 April approved ruling party’s request to hold referendum on EU membership in October, same month as presidential election. Days later, pro-Russian opposition politicians 21 April met in Russian capital Moscow for congress organised by businessman and fugitive Ilan Shor; leaders from autonomous Gagauz region also attended. Meeting culminated in decision to form anti-European political bloc dubbed Victoire, as Russia sought to consolidate its supporters in Moldova before elections and referendum.

Drone reportedly struck military unit in breakaway Transnistria. De facto authorities in breakaway Transnistria 5 April claimed that drone struck military facility in Rabnita region near Ukrainian border, but did not assign blame for attack; Moldova’s Bureau for Reintegration Policies same day said incident aligns with “a pattern of provocations” in Transnistria designed to “incite panic and tension”. 

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