In this special episode of Reportercast, Alexandru Flenchea, a former negotiator for Moldova’s government on the issue of Russia-occupied separatist Transnistria, and former advisor to the US embassy in Moldova, joins host Matei Rosca to discuss little-known Transnistria’s role in the Ukraine invasion. Flenchea, who also runs a Transnistria-focused NGO in Moldova called Initiative 4 Peace, explains the basics of life and politics under the obscure, kleptocratic and unrecognised regime of Tiraspol, as well as any options the West might have to deter the regime from continuing on a trend of repression of dissent and criticism of Russia’s invasion.
Moreover, Flenchea delves into the tragic case of Victor Pleșcanov, a dissident from Tiraspol unjustly sentenced in September to three years in prison for displaying a Ukraine flag and criticising the Kremlin and their stooges in Transnistria. Flenchea analyses the importance of illicit financial flows into Transnistria as the key lifeline for the regime, alongside direct subsidies, and a military and intelligence presence of Russia.
The podcast was recorded several days before the Daily Beast published an exclusive article in collaboration with Reporter.London highlighting the case of Mr Pleșcanov.
Flenchea said Pleșcanov’s imprisonment should give the EU cause to reactivate sanctions it imposed previously on the top leaders in Transnistria and since removed. The UK and US could, meanwhile, consider using the Magnistky programme of human rights-related sanctions in Pleșcanov’s case, he added.
If you are a journalist considering writing about this podcast, or just the type who prefers reading to listening, you may access the transcript here.
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