There are dangerous tensions between Moscow and Kyiv. Ukraine has said it is threatened with war after Russia has concentrated up to 20,000 troops on its borders in recent weeks. Kremlin rejects the allegations and claims that troop movements near Ukraine are meant to ensure Russia’s security and do not threaten anybody, and if war breaks out, it could mark “the beginning of the end” for Ukraine – a statement by Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Chancellery. The United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Germany have called on Moscow not to destabilize Ukraine.
Ion Costaș, former Minister of Defense
We know Russia’s position on the former Soviet territories. The restoration of the USSR remains Putin’s political ideal, no matter where he starts, possibly from Ukraine. The problem is that both Ukraine and we have limited fighting capacities with an opponent like Russia. The West can support us diplomatically or with ammunition, but not with troops, we are not in NATO… We are under Russian military occupation for 30 years. In case of war, in two – at most three hours the 14th army from Tiraspol would be in Chișinău … The argument that NATO is not far from Moldova, on Danube or Prut rivers, is not valid, as the troops are there not for us. The only possible solution for us is reunification with Romania. Only this can save us from a new Russian occupation.
Oazu Nantoi, deputy, political analyst
After President Zelensky carried out a series of firm actions, including in the direction of the annihilation of the “fifth column”, the Kremlin understood that it is losing Ukraine and that they could be left only with territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This does not fit into the scenario set up by Russia – “federalization” and the transfer of Ukraine under the control of the Kremlin. Putin’s regime has embarked on a plan to permanently defeat Ukraine in two stages: the threat of military aggression and, if Ukraine does not give in to threats, the transition to large-scale military aggression, including the implementation of the Novorossia plan. For the time being, Ukraine is not giving in, and the important actors (USA, NATO, EU) show solidarity with Ukraine. Therefore, the time will come when either Putin will give in or will not stop and launch large-scale military aggression to force Ukraine to capitulate. The risks for Moldova? The “Novorossia” scenario, with exit, through Odessa, to Gagauzia and Transnistria, involves the liquidation of Moldova as a state (see the Program of the Socialist Party, adopted on January 30, 2020). Military experts say that by the end of April, the concentration of Russian troops on attack positions will be finalized. And then the outcome will be seen. Dodon has received instructions from the Kremlin and he is waiting.
Ion Leahu, ex-member of Joint Control Commission of Moldova
What Russia plans, only Russia can know. At this moment, we do not see clearly what will happen and how it will be. Some observers believe that Moscow will not go beyond any intimidation of Ukraine to “convince” it to make new concessions related to Crimea or Donbas. Others believe that Putin wants to seize all of southeastern Ukraine, seize Odesa and go out on the Dniester. If Moscow succeeds, Moldova could also become a victim of this aggressive policy. In the first days of April, large military applications were organized on the left bank of the Nistru… If we take into account that these applications were launched in April and not in May or June (as in previous years), we can assume that they are part of the same military operation related to Ukraine. What will be the conditions Moscow would impose on Chișinău is not that difficult to foresee, whatever they are, they will aim to nullify the country’s independence.
Vitalia Pavlicenco, former deputy, member of the Political Movement Union
The situation is not simple. Putin has problems in Russia over the scandal surrounding opposition leader Navalny and tensions with oligarchic groups. A military conflict would lift the spirits of the Russian people, as the Putin administration has done before. Moldova is also in danger because it has Russian occupation troops on its territory, which can join those who have reached the Ukrainian border. But on the Romanian territory, there is an American military base, which is a shield for us as well. There is also a big fight for control of the Black Sea Basin between Russia, Turkey, and the West. However, although the West is on the side of Ukraine, it will not get involved with troops, maybe only with equipment, weapons, taking positions… No matter how incredible it may be, but if Russia will advance dangerously – who knows? – it can be a situation when we could save ourselves by reuniting with Romania, a concept agreed by the West.