In early September, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin told the Moldovans that Moldova “would lose Transnistria, if Moldova continues moving toward the European Union.” Then, in a sudden onrush of poetic sentiment, Rogozin added: “Moldova’s train en route to Europe would lose its wagons in Transnistria.” Transnistria is the breakaway part of Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and the Dniester River, that declared independence in 1990 and enjoys Russian military and diplomatic backing.
Then, later in September, President Putin’s adviser on economic integration, Sergei Glazyev, took part in the 10th annual summit of the Yalta European Strategy, a non-governmental group founded and funded by the westward-leaning Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. Here’s how the Times of London reported Glazyev’s comments:
Russia has threatened to support a partitioning of Ukraine if it signs a landmark cooperation agreement with the European Union in two months’ time. Sergei Glazyev, one of Vladimir Putin’s top advisers, said that Ukraine’s Russian-speaking minority might break up the country in protest at a move that European, Russian, and Ukrainian politicians see as a shift away from Moscow’s influence. He said that Russia would be legally entitled to support them.