Expert on international affairs Serhiy Danylenko says Russia is working out a scenario of escalation in Transnistria to create, if necessary, a military threat to Moldova and Ukraine.
"I think the Russians are working out an algorithm how to act in a closed enclave subordinate to Moscow. This may be interesting given the situation with Kaliningrad, because it is also an enclave that is separated from the rest of Russia," the expert said, commenting on the unauthorized drills of Russia's military forces in Transnistria, as reported by the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel on August 19.
According to Danylenko, the Moldovan authorities, despite their often inconsistent actions, "are still more pro-Western."
"Therefore, Russia will be interested in escalation at any moment. It's difficult to say how this will unfold. But analysts at Russia's General Staff [of Armed Forces] are able to do it skillfully. They can play out a scenario of escalation in Transnistria. It is interesting given the Moldovan government's pro-Western initiatives," the expert said.
"Also, it poses a threat to the southwestern border of Ukraine. It's a very effective instrument in a negative sense for Ukraine," the expert added.
As was earlier reported, Russian troops in Transnistria conducted exercises to cross the Dniester with the use of armored vehicles. The Ministry of Defense of Moldova called the Russian side's actions an act of provocation.