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Could Transnistria block Moldova's integration with the EU? OSW Commentary No. 95, 2012-10-23

Kononczuk, Wojciech and Rodkiewicz, Witold (2012) Could Transnistria block Moldova's integration with the EU? OSW Commentary No. 95, 2012-10-23. [Policy Paper]

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    Moldova’s progress in its negotiations on an Association Agreement with the European Union, with a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as its key element, has become a source of tension between Chisinau and the breakaway Republic of Transnistria. An almost certain refusal by Transnistria to join the DCFTA, will deprive the region of the benefits it currently enjoys under the EU Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATP) worsening its already precarious economic situation. It is to be expected that the issue will become an additional source of tension between the two sides of the Transnistrian conflict, and might also have a negative impact on the EU–Russia relationship. The signing of the Association Agreement, which is scheduled for the autumn of 2013, will be an important step towards Moldova’s integration with the EU. Both sides assign great importance to the speediest possible finalisation of the Agreement, and so far the negotiations have been described as progressing very smoothly. Transnistria’s highly sceptical attitude towards its possible accession to the DCFTA, however, is consistent with the interests of its main ally, Moscow. It is highly probable that Russia intends to thwart Moldova’s EU association process. Moscow’s objective seems to be to draw Moldova permanently into its own sphere of influence, and therefore it perceives Chisinau’s movement towards the EU as a transgression against its geopolitical interests. Consequently, in order to hinder this process, Russia may instrumentally exploit its extensive influence over Transnistria to provoke a crisis between Tiraspol and Chisinau. An apparent increase in Russian presence in the region over the last few months (including tighter control over Transnistria’s KGB and the Ministry of Information) may suggest that the Kremlin is preparing to implement such a scenario.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Moldova
    EU policies and themes > External relations > enlargement (see Treaty reform)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 10:49
    Number of Pages: 5
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 10:49

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