Transnistria’s European Drive: A Means to What End?

23 Nov 2020

(Geopolitics) Abstract: This paper explores the geopolitical role that a de facto state may play while operating in the context of patron-client relations and engagement without recognition framework. This is especially pronounced in Transnistria, which due to economic incentives offered by the EU through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) may not fit well into the overall military-political or socio-cultural expectations of Transnistrians deemed to be part of the Russian dominion. The puzzle this paper seeks to unfold is twofold: first, it examines the motives and instruments that both EU and Russia exploit in their power projections towards Transnistria; second, it probes different avenues how de facto state authorities tackle possible tensions emerging from externally imposed choices, and how this all affects their role choice. It is not ruled out that regional linkages, also interests and needs that shape allegiances will lead to changes in geopolitical roles, and thus in the secessionist conflict dynamics.

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Co-author: Kristel Vits