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Transnistria

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Transnistria, also known as Trans-Dniester or Transdniestria (see section "Names" for more) is a breakaway territory located de jure in Eastern Moldova as the autonomous region Stînga Nistrului ("Left Dnestr bank"), mostly in a strip between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine. Since its declaration of independence in 1990, and especially after the War of Transnistria in 1992, it is governed de facto by the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), which claims the east bank of the river Dniester and a small land located on the right bank of the Dnestr river (in the historical region of Bessarabia), as the city Bender and its sourrounding localities. The modern Republic of Moldova does not recognize the secession and considers territories controlled by the PMR to be a part of Moldova's sovereign territory. Transnistria's sovereignty is not recognized by any member of the United Nations and has no official diplomatic relations with any of those states.

After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between the Moldovan government and the breakaway PMR escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July 1992. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarized zone, comprising 20 localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: De jure part of Moldova, Transnistria is a de facto independent state. It is organised as a presidential republic, with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, and currency. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and a coat of arms. However, following a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistrian companies seeking to export goods though the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities. This agreement was implemented after EUBAM started its activity in 2006. Most Transnistrians are Moldovan citizens, but there are also many Transnistrians with Russian and Ukrainian citizenship.

Transnistria is sometimes compared with other post-Soviet frozen conflict zones such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. The latter two have recognised Transnistria as an independent state and plan to establish "diplomatic relations" in return for Transnistria's recognition of them (see Community for Democracy and Human Rights).

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