NARRATIVES: 1. Chișinău and the USA are preparing a war against Transnistria and Russia. 2. Chișinău has postponed the talks in the 5+2 format in Stockholm in order to let the situation in Transnistria escalate.
BACKGROUND: At the end of October, the Republic of Moldova managed to reach an agreement with the Russian energy giant Gazprom on the delivery of natural gas, at the end of a month of negotiations with Gazprom and the Kremlin administration. Apart from the economic and commercial component, negotiations also had a political dimension, experts say, something which prime minister Natalia Gavriliță also half-heartedly admitted. Since it obtained its independence in 1991, Moldova’s gas supplies were the most important weapon used by the Kremlin against Chișinău, which completely relies on Russian gas imports. After the building of the Iași-Chișinău pipeline, the Republic of Moldova has diversified its gas sources, except Transnistria continues to lack options. Moreover, the regime in Tiraspol is allegedly running short on cash, considering most of its budget is based on revenues from the electric power plant in Cuciurgan, which provides electricity of the Republic of Moldova.
PURPSOE: The narrative is aimed at promoting the idea of Chișinău’s acts of aggression in Transnistria and the West’s aggressions in the region. Moreover, the narrative also tries to justify the Russian military presence west of the Dniester, while indirectly also justifying Moscow’s involvement over the last 30 years in the conflicts in the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The narratives are also part of the Kremlin’s propaganda targeting the EU, the USA and NATO, describing them as aggressive organizations that want to turn ex-Soviet states in testing grounds for launching a war against Russia. The various fake news about the West and the United States wanting to drag Moldova into a regional conflict emerged particularly in the wake of the political changes in Chișinău, where the pro-European party PAS won the election, as well as in the context of the revitalization of relations between Chișinău and Kiev. The same publication recently wrote that American troops have been brought to Moldova in order to take part in the war against Ukraine, a fake story that was ruled out by the Ministry of Defense in Chișinău.
Moreover, during the election campaign and after the pro-European PAS party took power in the Republic of Moldova, the media in Transnistria and Russia and those outlets affiliated to the Socialists in Chișinău have promoted a story claiming the new administration will trigger an escalation of the Transnistrian conflict. For nearly three decades, Transnistrian propaganda has been targeting the Republic of Moldova, seen as an aggressor by the people of Transnistria.
In fact, Chișinău lost control of its eastern region following a war on the Dniester in 1992, triggered and directly supported by Moscow and the 14th Russian Army. The breakaway regime in Tiraspol continues to receive political and military support from the Russian Federation.
As regards the meeting in the 5+2 format regarding the Transnistrian conflict, which the publication claims Chișinău canceled, only the media in Tiraspol wrote the meeting was supposed to take place in early November. Chișinău and the OSCE mission to the Republic of Moldova never made any announcement regarding a meeting in this format taking place in early November or being cancelled. The acting president of the OSCE, Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde, said just that “The Swedish presidency of the OSCE is ready to host a meeting in the 5+2 format this year in Stockholm”. The Office for Reintegration Policies in Chișinău issued a release regarding the organization of the next round of talks in the 5+2 format, saying that right now consultations are being held in this respect and that an official answer will presented in the near future.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: The date for the next meeting in the 5+2 format aimed at negotiating a resolution in the Transnistrian conflict has not yet been set.