What comes after the attacks in Transnistria?

A string of explosions in the breakaway region of Transnistria in the east of the Republic of Moldova is raising concerns about an expansion of the war in Ukraine. On Monday, a government building in Tiraspol was shelled and on Tuesday, two radio antenneas were blown up. Transnistria has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 1992. The border is about 40 kilometres from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. The press is alarmed.

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Deutsche Welle (RO) /

A familiar pattern

Russia could use the situation as a pretext for an invasion, warns Deutsche Welle's Romanian service:

“The Republic of Moldova is neutral by virtue of its constitution, and in the current conflict it has demanded that the other states, including Russia, respect this status. Russia, however, won't heed this and could at any moment decide to recognise the separatist region on the left bank of the Dniester and then intervene militarily, as it has already done with the separatist republics of Luhansk and Donetsk and the invasion of 24 February 2022. And as it did in August 2008 when it attacked Georgia after recognising the independence of South Ossetia.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Putin won't stop until he's stopped

The Russian troops must be stopped now, warns La Stampa:

“Both Kyiv and Chișinău are interpreting the mysterious explosions in Transnistria as an attempt by Moscow to drag the Republic of Moldova into the vortex of the war and extend the violence beyond Ukraine's borders. The only chance to prevent an escalation - both within Ukraine and beyond its borders - is to stop Putin. ... That can only succeed if he does not win this phase of the war. Because if he does, there will be no peace but rather an even more violent and dangerous third phase of aggression.”

wPolityce.pl (PL) /

Bucharest will become more active

wPolityce expects Romania's role to change:

“The situation is extremely interesting, also with regard to the European Union. The government in Bucharest tried to stick to the 'golden middle way' by actively supporting reinforced defence of the eastern flank and endorsing the strengthening of the US's military presence while not putting itself at the forefront when it came to demonstrating political support for Kyiv. Suffice it to say that President Klaus Iohannis is one of the few European leaders who has not visited Kyiv during the war. But now that situation could change.”

Adevărul (RO) /

Romania should take Moldova under its wing

The Republic of Moldova should be incorporated into the Romanian state as quickly as possible, analyst Stefan Vlaston urges in Adevărul:

“Unification should have taken place long ago, but the desire of Moldovans and their leaders for a sovereign, independent state was perfectly understandable. Now, however, we are in an extreme situation. ... Moldova's territory could become part of a Nato state and Nato troops could march in without delay to protect it. A surreal scenario, to be sure. But otherwise we may see the same atrocities that have horrified the world in Mariupol, Bucha and other places in Moldova. And thousands of deaths.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Frozen conflicts are ticking time bombs

Radio Kommersant FM notes:

“Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the local elites [in Transnistria] have created a state of their own. And they're getting along fine with it: they've initiated cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and the government in Chișinău. That's a good thing, but you also have to realise that in principle things can't go on like this forever: one way or another, frozen conflicts have a tendency to thaw out. They are ticking time bombs.”