The Effective Factors on European Union’s Engagement in Transnistria Conflict Resolution Process Based on Regional Security Complex Model

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor of Regional Studies, Faculty of Law and Political Science,Tehran, Iran.


Extended Abstract     
Transnistria is located between Moldova and Ukraine. After 28 years, the conflict remains unresolved. The region wants to join Russia, and as a result, it can be interpreted as a Russian-Moldovan conflict. On September 2, 1992, Transnistria decided to secede from Moldova. The violent phase of the conflict lasted four months and led to Russia's intervention by the 14th Army. Transnistria's independence has never been recognized internationally. Transnistria is a geopolitical conflict, not an ethnic one. This conflict is called (Frozen). This conflict is a major source of security threats such as organized crime, violation of the rule of law, and illegal immigration. Despite these considerations, the European Union gradually entered the international arena of conflict resolution as a foreign actor. Russia and the European Union are two important players in the Transnistrian conflict resolution process. Since 2003, the will of the EU has been to play an active role in Transnistria conflict resolution, and since 2005 the 5+2 talks have begun. The EU's most important policy in the region is the Eastern Partnership, which is part of the European Neighborhood policy. This means that conflict resolution is driven by indirect tools, and therefore not very successful. All things considered, the question arises as to why, despite the efforts of the EU, the Transnistrian conflict remains frozen and there is no clear prospect to resolve this problem.
The data collection method in this study is qualitative and is based on the documentary method. This research is in line with the theoretical modeling method. In this regard, the theory of regional security complexes Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver has been applied. In terms of the level of analysis, this research is three-level and examines the issue in national, regional, and international dimensions.
Results and Discussion
The analyzes of regional security complexes takes place during a process that includes the internal dimension of government (includes Transnistria strengths and weaknesses), state's relationship with other governments (includes Transnistria relations with Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine), the connection of the region with its nearby regions ( includes Transnistria relations with European Union), and  The relationship between government and superior powers ( includes Transnistria Relations with Russia). Depending on the pattern of conflict in Transnistria, the type of security complex in it can be called Centralized. This focus can be based on a superior power, a great power, a regional power or an institution. Transnistria is part of a security complex based on a superior power (Russia) and an institution (the European Union). It can be argued that Transnistria is part of Russia's regional security complex and the intricacies of the complex and its intersection with the security complex proposed in the Eastern Partnership do not allow the EU to resolve the conflict.
As Buzan and Weaver rightly point it, security threats are more common among close governments. That is why the European Union intervened in the Transnistrian conflict. At the same time, the issue of Transnistria is affecting Russia's security. Security patterns are interconnected and affect each other. If Moldova has a closer relationship with the European Union, this affects Russia. Russia is gradually losing control of the region and becoming weaker. As a result, Russia resists against this issue. The complexities within the region do not allow the EU to use an effective solution to resolve the conflict. In particular, high levels of corruption in Moldova and Transnistria are hampering EU reform. Russia also has a wide range of software and hardware in the region. So far, Russia's policies have been more successful than those of the European Union


Main Subjects

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Volume 17, Issue 63
July 2021
Pages 170-195
  • Receive Date: 15 May 2020
  • Revise Date: 12 January 2021
  • Accept Date: 22 April 2021
  • First Publish Date: 22 April 2021