Espreso. Global
OPINION

Russia unable to annex Transnistria

25 February, 2024 Sunday
19:20

Every year, Ukraine liberates Transnistria, quite literally, on an annual basis. This time, the speculated cause is the potential incorporation of Transnistria into Russia

Can Russia 'agree' to Include Transnistria into its Territory, or is it Just Another Pretext for Blackmail? Who Knows. Russia can't escalate the situation on the battlefield (where else?), but politically - endless possibilities. They'll dream about annexing Moldova again and talk about Odesa. 

Does even Russia's recognition of Transnistria as part of Russia prompt us to take any action against Transnistria? No. Because whatever Russia recognizes as its territory doesn't change the main point."

"Transnistria is a sovereign territory of Moldova, our partner and ally, which is temporarily occupied. What to do with Transnistria should be decided and agreed upon by the Government of Moldova. Not Ukraine. Not the USA. Not NATO. Moldova. That's how international law works."

There is no international consensus regarding Transnistria. For intervention, we need approval from Washington, Bucharest, and NATO as a whole. There is no discussion about this yet. Ukraine does not have the legitimacy to independently address such issues.

Does Moldova itself support the idea of resolving the Transnistria issue by force? No. Public opinion in Moldova is not inclined towards intervention by third parties and involving Moldova in an open war.

"The public sentiment in Moldova is to avoid war, not become part of it. However, the destruction of Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces in Transnistria, with the approval of the Moldovan government, would make Moldova a target for Russian terrorist attacks."

Is Moldova ready for war and Russian missile strikes? No. And Ukraine cannot guarantee Moldova's security 100% with its air defense systems alone. As for ground forces in Transnistria, they are of no concern to Ukrainians.

Regarding the threat of attacks from Transnistria on Ukraine, it's challenging for Russians to maintain their forces' combat readiness there. The land route is blocked, and so is the airspace. Unless they've dug a tunnel under Ukraine (unlikely). Therefore, apart from possible air raids, the threat from there should not be overestimated.

Furthermore, the idea that eliminating Transnistria will free up additional forces for us is simply a bad joke. Who, in the event of Transnistria's liberation, will maintain law and order in Transnistria itself, where resistance to Ukrainian and Moldovan forces is entirely possible? Obviously, it will also be the Ukrainian Armed Forces because Moldova currently lacks such forces. To protect the border from Transnistrian incursions, far fewer personnel are needed than for a military-police mission.

Now, let's discuss why we have nothing to gain from Transnistria. I previously mentioned that I had the opportunity to study the economy and the specifics of the Transnistrian region's operation when my colleagues and I were tasked with blocking the illegal export of Ukrainian scrap metal to a plant operating in Transnistria on Russian gas. This was even after February 24. Let's call it a strategic economic object of the 'republic'.

In Transnistria, everything is so specifically corrupted that—I am certain—there are no longer any warehouses in Kovbasna. Sold, dispersed, stolen. Because besides corruption, it's essential to understand that the Russian 'contingent' in Transnistria isn't composed of Russians; it's primarily locals hired to perform a rather specific 'service,' mainly earning through smuggling. This includes smuggling from Kovbasna. And they've been doing this for about 30 years now.

About the author. Yuriy Bohdanov, publicist, a specialist in strategic communications in business, public administration and politics.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.



 
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