(Reuters) – A senior Russian politician said on Sunday he had brought to Moscow a petition by residents of Moldova’s Russian-speaking, breakaway region of Transdniestria (aka Transnistria) backing union with Russia.
Dmitry Rogozin’s comments will further rattle Moldova, an impoverished former Soviet republic which, like neighboring Ukraine, is seeking closer ties with Europe but faces stiff resistance from Moscow.
Transdniestria, which broke from Moldova in 1990, has long sought to join Russia and the West fears the narrow sliver of land on the Dniestr river will be Moscow’s next target following its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
“The Russian delegation has … brought home the appeal to the Russian authorities by Transdniestrians. And even if it’s of symbolic rather than legal character it is now important to us,” Rogozin wrote on Facebook.