Russia could recognize the independence of the Moldovan separatist Transdnestr region in case Moldova loses its sovereignty or neutrality, a Russian diplomat said on Saturday.
Moldova and Transdnestr have not budged from their respective stances since mid-1990s, but they need a compromise in order to solve the impasse, said Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Gubarev.
“If no solution is found, then it’s time to analyze Plan B,” Gubarev said at a press conference in Transdnestr’s capital Tiraspol.
Moldova – which proclaimed itself a neutral power upon obtaining independence in 1991 – has close cultural and historical ties to the neighboring Romania, and a political faction of considerable influence is advocating a Moldovan-Romanian union.
Transdnestr, a part of Moldova with a predominantly Russian population, proclaimed its separation from the republic in 1990. A military conflict followed in 1992, ending in the rebel region’s de-facto independence, but not recognition by any UN members.
A peacekeeping force comprising several hundred of Russian, Moldovan and Transdnestr troops is currently deployed in Transdnestr, a cash-strapped region along the Dniester River with a population of 520,000.
Moldova and Transdnestr have been in talks for years, with Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the United States and the European Union acting as intermediaries, but Tiraspol continues to reject Moldova’s proposal for autonomy as part of a single Moldovan state.