Moscow has pledged to address Transnistria’s plea, while Chisinau has condemned the call as a “propaganda declaration” The 7th congress of Transnistrian legislators at all levels in Tiraspol on February 28, 2024. © Sputnik / Artem Kulekin

Transnistria, an unrecognized republic that split from Moldova in the early 1990s, asked Russia on Wednesday for help amid mounting pressure from Chisinau, which it describes as an “economic blockade.”

The call for help was produced at a congress of Transnistrian legislators at all levels, which adopted a declaration on the matter. The lawmakers asked Moscow to take “measures to protect Transnistria amid mounting pressure from Moldova,” noting that nearly half of the more than 450,000 people living in the unrecognized country are Russian citizens.

“We’ve asked to intensify political and diplomatic measures, since the Russian Federation is one of the international mediators in the settlement process,” the self-declared republic’s foreign minister, Vitaly Ignatyev, explained while speaking to the broadcaster Rossiya 24.

The congress also raised the issue of the “economic blockade” with the UN Secretary General, OSCE, the EU parliament, and other international bodies and organizations, urging them to put pressure on Chisinau.

Moscow promptly reacted to the call for help, promising to address it shortly. “Protecting the interests of Transnistria residents, our compatriots, is one of the priorities. All requests are always carefully considered,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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The Russian parliament will evaluate the Transnistrian plea as soon as the document actually makes it there, Konstantin Zatulin, a senior lawmaker with the lower chamber, the State Duma, told RIA Novosti.

The move has already been condemned by Moldova, with the country’s Vice PM on Reintegration, Oleg Serebyan, dismissing Tiraspol’s call as “propaganda” and denying putting the breakaway territory under an “economic blockade.”

“The Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration and the Bureau for Reintegration Policies of the Moldovan Government firmly dismiss propagandistic statements from Tiraspol. They emphasize that the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova enjoys peace, security, and economic integration policies with the European Union,” Serebyan said in a statement.

Transnistria, a narrow strip of land on the left bank of the Dniester between the river and Ukraine, proclaimed independence from Chisinau in the early 1990s, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Following Chisinau’s botched attempt to reclaim the territory by force, a ceasefire was reached in 1992, with Russia maintaining a small peacekeeping force in the region. Over the years, Tiraspol has taken multiple steps to integrate with Moscow, with the republic’s population overwhelmingly backing the idea to join Russia in the mid-2000s. (RT)