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FAKE NEWS: Ukraine is using Transnistria to draw Moldova into a conflict with Russia

Transnistria
©EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU  |   President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky (C-L) shake hands with President of Poland (C-R) with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis (L) and President of Moldova Maia Sandu (R) during celebration of 30 Years of Independence of Moldova on main street of Chisinau, Moldova, 27 August 2021.

The new government in Chisinau is blindly following the agenda dictated by Washington and Brussels and Ukraine is trying to draw the Republic of Moldova into a conflict against Russia, according to older narratives resumed by the PSRM leader Igor Dodon. In an interview on the Moldovan TV station ‘Primul’, Dodon also said that the authorities in Chisinau and Kiev agreed to economically block the Transnistrian region.

NEWS: “Kiev's ban on the entry of cars with Transnistrian license plates is part of an understanding between  Zelensky and Sandu to economically block  the Transnistrian region”,  the PSRM leader Igor Dodon says. “It a game played by the Chisinau authorities. They agreed, from the beginning, with the Ukrainians on that letter requesting the postponement of the ban. The goal was to play the Russians by telling them that an attempt had been made to settle the conflict, but the Ukrainians did not give in. For the Ukrainians to come out bad, and those in Chisinau - good [...]

Dodon says that Ukraine would try to draw the Republic of Moldova on its side in the conflict with the Russian Federation, and the Chisinau authorities are allegedly accepting this. “Ukraine is in conflict with Russia and the Ukrainians will try to create challenges in the Transnistrian region. This is their internal agenda, not our agenda. The Chisinau authorities call Transnistrian “separatists” and are ready to buy electricity from Ukraine, which is more expensive, just to economically block the Transnistrian region”, Igor Dodon was quoted as saying by IPN.

Igor Dodon's statements are also taken over by sputnik.md: “Commenting on the refusal of the Moldovan Parliament's leadership to send a delegation of observers to the elections for the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the leader of the Socialist Party, Igor Dodon, sees in that a hostile step in the relation with Russia . “Obviously, geopolitics is at stake here as well. I think they have been tasked by Western curators not to keep in touch with Russia. But how else to explain it? ... I understand why our Parliament's leadership has done so. Some Western countries that promote an anti-Russian policy have decided not to send observers to Russia. And Moldova is now de facto joining the anti-Russian sanctions. And that, from my point of view, is a mistake”,  Igor Dodon said.

NARRATIVES: 1. The Chisinau government is blindly following the agenda dictated by Washington and Brussels. 2. The new government has received instructions from its Western coordinators to sever contacts with Russia and join anti-Russian sanctions. 3. Ukraine is trying to draw the Republic of Moldova into a conflict with Russia. 4. Chisinau and Kiev have planned an economic blockade of the Transnistrian region.

CONTEXT: Igor Dodon, a politician close to Moscow, lost power in Chisinau following the presidential elections of November 2020 and the legislative elections of July 2021. The new, pro-European, power made efforts from the very beginning to relaunch Moldova’s relations with the EU and its neighbors, Ukraine and Romania, after they had deteriorated during previous governments.

The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine are part of the Eastern Partnership, an EU project meant to support the former Soviet republics on the path to European integration, have signed Association Agreements with the European Union and benefit from a liberalized visa regime.

Recently, the Presidents of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia have signed a joint declaration of trilateral cooperation on European integration. President Maia Sandu visited Kiev, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to Chisinau in August. On August 23, Maia Sandu attended in Kiev the Inaugural Summit of the Crimea Platform. The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have on their territories separatist regions and frozen conflicts, supported by the Russian Federation. After the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the outbreak of war in the Donbas region, in 2014, Ukraine changed its position on the Transnistrian conflict in favor of Chisinau.

The pro-Russian camp carries out an anti-Western propaganda that intensified during the election campaigns held in the Republic of Moldova, but which has continued even after the pro-European forces started governing the country. At the same time, in the context of the rapprochement between Chisinau and Kiev, narratives are circulating about an alleged hostility of the PAS / Maia Sandu government towards Russia. On the other hand, the Kremlin is waging a disinformation campaign in which it accuses Ukraine of starting the war in Donbas and that it would try to attract other countries in conflict with Russia, at the suggestion of the USA and the EU.

Finally, the narrative about an alleged blockade of Transnistria was relaunched as Ukraine decided to implement an earlier decision and ban access to its territory of vehicles with registration numbers bearing the insignia of the separatist republic, which is not internationally recognized.

PURPOSE: The narratives that Igor Dodon keeps reiterating are meant to discredit the pro-European orientation of the Reupblic of Moldova.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The narratives are part of the Kremlin's meta-narrative about the West wanting to create instability around Russia, by supporting governments in ex-Soviet states and asking them to sever ties with Russia and join anti-Russian sanctions. In reality, Russia has punished any attempt by Chisinau or Kiev to get closer to the European Union, through various means, from economic embargoes to armed conflicts.

European integration has been the strategic objective of Moldova’s foreign policy, not only for the current government, but also for the previous ones. The Association Agreement with the EU was signed in 2014, for a deeper political and economic integration of Chisinau in the relation with the EU.

The new government of the Republic of Moldova has stood for a collaboration with Russia, and the head of diplomacy in Chisinau, Nicu Popescu, stressed that one of the objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to develop a relationship with the Russian Federation based on mutual respect, by unblocking trade exchanges and moving forward with the talks on Transnistria.

Regarding the narrative that Ukraine is trying to draw the Republic of Moldova into a conflict with Russia, Chisinau has neither the capacity nor the interest to get involved in such a conflict. At the same time, neither Ukraine, which has had an armed conflict in the east with Russia since 2014, nor the Republic of Moldova, which waged a war in 1992, wants to destabilize the situation in the Transnistrian region.

Chisinau and Kiev have not imposed an economic blockade on the Transnistrian region. This is only a measure related to the traffic on the territory of Ukraine of cars with Transnistrian license plates, without MD signs, for individuals in particular. Basically, since the self-proclaimed republic is not recognized, its insignia cannot be recognized either. Companies from the Transnistrian region carrying out international activities are officially registered by the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova and hold license plates issued by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova. The vehicle registration mechanism on the left bank of the Dniester came into force in 2018. The use of so-called “neutral” numbers for cars in the Transnistrian region was agreed by Chisinau and Tiraspol (without any interference from Kiev). Tiraspol, however, discouraged the region's residents from replacing their license plates with neutral ones.


  • Publication / Media:
    PRIMUL TV
  • Date of publication:
    07/09/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    PSRM followers, pro-Russians
  • Amplification:
    PSRM affiliated media, mainstream media
  • Key narrative:
    Ukraine is using Transnistria to draw Moldova into a conflict with Russia
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  • The new government in Chisinau is blindly following the agenda dictated by Washington and Brussels and Ukraine is trying to draw the Republic of Moldova into a conflict against Russia, according to older narratives resumed by the PSRM leader Igor Dodon. In an interview on the Moldovan TV station ‘Primul’, Dodon also said that the authorities in Chisinau and Kiev agreed to economically block the Transnistrian region.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. The Chisinau government is blindly following the agenda dictated by Washington and Brussels. 2. The new government has received instructions from its Western coordinators to sever contacts with Russia and join anti-Russian sanctions. 3. Ukraine is trying to draw the Republic of Moldova into a conflict with Russia. 4. Chisinau and Kiev have planned an economic blockade of the Transnistrian region.
  • PURPOSE: The narratives that Igor Dodon keeps reiterating are meant to discredit the pro-European orientation of the Reupblic of Moldova.
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