US President Joe Biden met with Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Warsaw Tuesday.
It comes a few days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US has “deep concern” about Russia's efforts to destabilize Moldova's government. Sandu also said last week that Russia was plotting a coup in Moldova.
During the meeting, Biden highlighted ongoing US assistance to “help Moldova strengthen its political and economic resilience, including its democratic reform agenda and energy security, and to address the effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine," according to the White House.
Some context: Moldova, situated between Ukraine and Romania, was previously part of the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, a handful of “frozen conflict” zones in eastern Europe emerged, including a slither of land along Moldova’s border with Ukraine known as Transnistria.
The territory declared itself a Soviet republic in 1990, opposing any attempt by Moldova to become an independent state or to merge with Romania. When Moldova became independent the following year, Russia quickly inserted itself as a so-called “peacekeeping force” in Transnistria, sending troops in to back pro-Moscow separatists there.
In the context of the war today, the Russian-backed separatist enclave at the southwestern edge of the country could now present a potential bookend to any Russian assault westwards from Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.