Transnistria, about history
May 4, 2014
Unrecognised by any United Nations member state, Transnistria is designated by the Republic of Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit with special legal status (Unitatea teritorială autonomă cu statut juridic special Transnistria), or Stînga Nistrului (“Left Bank of the Dniester”).
After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between the newly created Moldova and the de facto sovereign state of Pridnestrovia (which unlike the rest of Moldova had not wanted to separate from the Soviet Union) escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July 1992. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarized zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory’s political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognized but independent presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, and currency. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. However, after a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistrian companies that seek to export goods through the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities. This agreement was implemented after the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) started its activity in 2005. Most Transnistrians also have Moldovan citizenship, but many Transnistrians also have Russian and Ukrainian citizenship.
Because of the Russian military contingent present in Transnistria, the European Court of Human Rights considers Transnistria “under the effective authority or at least decisive influence of Russia“.
Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are post-Soviet “frozen conflict” zones. These four unrecognized states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.