Moldova could become the next target of Putin. The events in Transnistria ought to concern the European political leaders, journalists say there are Americans who believe that the Russian president has not given up its expansionist plans.

Journalists from the Wall Street Journal write that Moldova could become the next target of Putin in Transnistria as events evolve in favor of pro-Russian supporters. The newspaper states that while European leaders focus on Russia’s expansionist ambitions in Ukraine, the Kremlin appears to have turned its eyes to Moldova, where they control Transnistria by pro-Russian militants.

American journalists point out that Kremlin proponents celebrate ten years after the controversial referendum in 2006 in which 97% of citizens voted for Transnistria’s annexation by Russia. To mark the occasion, Yevgeny Shevchuk, the self-proclaimed President of the Region, unrecognized even by Russian officials, has drafted decree demands of the annexation of Transnistria.

Americans are concerned that pro-Russians and ideologies of the Kremlin, along with the press in Russia, support an eventual annexation effort, and even if Putin made no public statement about the decree of Shevchuk, although it is unlikely to be publicly released without the approval of Moscow.

On the other hand, Moscow accuses Moldova and Ukraine that they “narrow” Transnistria. As regarding Ukraine, the authorities said that the only measures taken are the suspension of military cooperation, following the annexation of Crimea. Gradually, Moscow began to move its troops in Transnistria under the pretext of military exercises, having around 1,000 troops in the territory and has broken its promise to withdraw troops until 2002. Americans consider that the recent events in the area suggest that Putin tests the ground to see which will be the response of the West to a possible annexation of Transnistria.

The Wall Street Journal believes that American leaders together with partners in Europe will have to make an effort to thwart the plans of Putin in Transnistria. Such a violation of thsovereignty of Moldova should be punished with sanctions.

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