07:10 GMT19 September 2020
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    Moldovan border authorities have stepped up pressure on residents of the breakaway Transnistria region, threatening to deport those crossing into its territory, the Transnistrian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

    TIRASPOL (Sputnik) Transnistria, a strip of land between Moldova and Ukraine, broke away from the Soviet republic of Moldova in the 1990s. Most of its population are Russian and Ukrainian nationals.

    According to Transnistria’s foreign office, border guards have been demanding that Transnistrians with Russian and Ukrainian passports show Moldovan travel documents or residence permits.

    The Transnistrian Foreign Ministry claimed that "demands of the Moldovan Republic authorities… are unfounded and exceed the boundaries set by [bilateral] agreements," urging Chisinau to guarantee freedom of movement of its residents.

    Moldova and Transnistria signed a protocol in Vienna in 2014 that ruled out sanctions or administrative curbs on people living in the breakaway region.

    Transnistria broke away from Moldova over fears that its government could seek reintegration with neighboring Romania, triggering a 1992 military offensive by Moldova which cost Chisinau the left bank of the Dniester River. The region is now seeking international recognition, while Moldova is offering Transnistria autonomy within a unitary state.

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    Tags:
    deportation, residents, Transnistria, Moldova
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