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Transnistria poses security risk to Ukraine's Odesa

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Subject

Transnistria as a security risk.

Significance

Transnistria, led by President Yevgeny Shevchuk, came to prominence following a military conflict with Moldova in 1992 and has been a de facto Russian dependency ever since. The small area of land along the Dniester river is currently largely peaceful. Its self-proclaimed status is unrecognised by the international community. Its position between Moldova and Ukraine, especially its proximity to Odesa, makes it a possible bridgehead for a Russia-led security operation in support of the Donetsk and Luhansk rebel 'republics' and potentially Crimea.

Impacts

  • Moldova will be deterred from seeking NATO membership by Russia's threat to recognise Transnistria's independence.
  • Transnistria's closer ties to Russia will lead to a growing economic informal relationship with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
  • For Ukraine, Russia's military presence in Transnistria will remain a cause for concern and lead to stricter border control.
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