Looking from the outside, it’s hard to understand why RM is so tolerant of Transnistria. After all, Transnistrian cars circulate freely here (in RM proper), Transnistrian businesses are everywhere, it’s easy to get a bus or train to Transnistria, and there are street signs pointing to destinations in Transnistria. Furthermore, Moldova doesn’t even guard or control its border with Transnistria. But who so lax?
Transnistria is, after all, supposed to be a kind of Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk), where pro-Russian separatists used force (backed by Russian troops) in order to become an unrecognized independent country. Surely you’d think that Moldova, especially the strongly pro-Romanian elements in this country, would be doing something to push for re-integration and/or be a bit more hostile towards Transnistria.
Well this explains a lot:
Moldova gets up to 80 percent of its electricity from a hydropower station, Cuciurgan, located in breakaway Transnistria, a region controlled by pro-Russian separatists. For the past 11 years, the Kremlin-linked Russian energy company Inter RAO has run the hydropower station through its subsidiary, MoldGRES (the Russian acronym for Moldovan HydroElectric Station). But in late 2014, a peculiar change occurred. Moldova’s state-run power company Energocom began receiving Cuciurgan’s electricity via an intermediary, a heretofore unknown entity called EnergoKapital, headquartered in Transnistria.
Yep. Read the rest of the article for details but it looks like someone in power in RM (i.e. a “pro-EU” oligarch) authorized a new moneymaking scheme in 2014 to tax RM’s power consumption and then launder the money. Even weirder:
Economy Ministry spokesperson Nicoleta Pădureț said the ministry, which oversees energy policy, played no role in the negotiations [to sign the deal with EnergoKapital for supplying electricity to RM].
Zoinks! Looks like more widespread corruption is afoot in RM.