The Russian federal election that took place at the end of last week reignited the debate over Transnistria, prompting Moldovan officials to react. These said that, “despite the position consistently expressed by the Moldovan authorities, the Russian side has acted in a manner that does not correspond to the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and the bilateral legal framework”, IPN reports, quoting EU Reporter.
Speaking to EU Reporter, political science professor and expert on the former soviet region, Armand Gosu said that the election for the Russian Duma held on Moldova’s territory represents “indisputably a violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova. Moscow negotiated directly with Tiraspol (capital of Transnistria) the opening and operation of polling stations on the territory of the separatist republic, which amounts to not recognizing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova.
In addition to Transnistria, Russian authorities opened polling stations in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova, as well as the cities of Comrat and Balti. It is the largest number of polling stations opened by Russia outside its borders.
The same view was shared by Pasa Valeriu working for the Moldovan based NGO, WatchDog.MD, who told EU Reporter that ”I can’t call what is happening in Russia as being an election. It’s nothing more than a sham. Therefore the question of a secure electoral process in Transnistria falls under the same category.”
“For separatist leaders, it is important to prove their loyalty to the Kremlin by delivering as many votes as possible for Putin's party”, Gosu told EU Reporter.
Last week’s election in Transnistria for the Russian Duma was widely publicized by the local administration and its sponsored media. It was portrayed as very important for the breakaway region and used to showcase Russia's decisive role, its help and support for the region. The reality paints a different story with Russia's assistance, as well as trade with Transnistrian, one of the poorest regions in Europe, steadily declining over the past years.