The article is aimed at identifying the key factors and policies contributing to the economic sustainability of the Transnistrian republic, which over a long period of time functions as an unrecognized de facto ‘state’ on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Moldova. The author indicates the role of the Russian economic patronage for the breakaway republic and explains the rationale behind the ambiguous hybrid soft policy approach taken by Chisinau with regard to Transnistria, which along with the Russian factor substantially contributed to the maintaining of the unrecognized regime of Tiraspol.

Ruslan Kermach is a political analyst at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) and a postgraduate (PhD) student at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy studying mainly the issues of the Russian foreign and domestic policy, frozen conflicts, and de facto statehood. Fellow of the DAAD semester study program at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany (2013/14) and PASOS Democracy Program Fellow (2016). He is a political observer and columnist in several Ukrainian internet media outlets and freelance contributor for the US news organization EurasiaNet since 2017.

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