Politicians in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria have asked the Russian parliament to allow their territory to join the Russian Federation.
The region, also known as Trans-Dniester, forms the part of Moldova on the east bank of the Dniester river. It declared independence from Moldova as the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, but no state has ever recognised it.
In 2006, the region, dominated by ethnic Russians, reaffirmed its independence in a referendum, but vote was again not recognised by any country.
The Moldova government maintains its claim on the territory and most other countries regard it as forming a part of the eastern European state.
Now, inspired by the vote in Crimea, politicians and activists in the breakaway republic have asked that they too be admitted to the Russian Federation.
BBC News quotes Irina Kubanskikh, a spokeswoman for the Transnistrian parliament, as saying that the regions public bodies had “appealed to the Russian Federation leadership to examine the possibility of extending to Trans-Dniester the legislation, currently under discussion in the State Duma, on granting Russian citizenship and admitting new subjects into Russia.”
The move comes as the rest of Moldova attempts to build stronger ties with the EU. President Nicolae Timofti said that it would be a “step in the wrong direction” for the Russian government to accept the Transnistria region, according to the BBC.
The move would also likely be strongly opposed by Ukraine, which would end up with Russian territory on both its eastern and western borders, as well as to the south.