Friday, March 8, 2024

Gagauz Leaders Ask Moscow for Support But Get Little Beyond Verbal Reassurances

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 4 – On February 28 and following an analogous action in the breakaway Transnistria Moldovan Republic, Tiraspol assembled a congress of officials at all levels, the first such meeting there in18 years. Many expected it to call for independence or even annexation by the Russian Federation.

            But that did not happen. Instead, the meeting limited itself to complaining about Chisinau’s policies regarding the Christian Turkic minority and calls for Moscow to provide it with support, including the restoration of direct transport links between Tiraspol and Russia. (On that back and forth, see

            Two days after the meeting, however, Yevgeny Gutsul, the head of the Gagauz autonomy, and Dmitry Konstantinov, the speaker of the Popular Assembly of Gaguzia, visited Moscow to press their case for closer ties (европа/20240303-лидеры-гагаузии-вслед-за-приднестровьем-попросили-москву-о-поддержке-что-это-значит).

            They were received only by Valentina Matviyeno, speaker of the Federation Council, rather than by the Kremlin and only received reassurances that Moscow was on their side. As a result, Chisinau analysts like Aleksey Tulbure said this whole series of events represented only “a new propaganda war” by Moscow intended to disrupt the presidential elections in Moldova. 

UPDATE ON MARCH 7: Vladimir Putin did receive the head of Gagauzia on the sidelines of the World Youth Festival and promised support but again not with the specificity that many had predicted (

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