Why is Moldova a country? Russia's continued influence in the near abroad
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The Republic of Moldova: The very existence of this country is not widely known around the world, especially in the United States. When mentioning the country in an international context, journalists and political leaders refer to Moldova’s status as Europe’s poorest country, its two-year struggle to elect a president, or its breakaway region of Transnistria. In a reemerging Russia, however, the Republic of Moldova is of considerable strategic importance. Because of Moldova’s geographic location and ethnic make-up, Russia has a genuine interest in ensuring that Moldova maintains the status quo and continues to be a poor, divided, and weak state. Based on the lack of a national identity, an absent economy, and a struggling government; it is questionable whether or not Moldova should be an independent state in the first place. This report will argue that despite attractive prospects for Moldova to unite with Romania or integrate into the European Union, Russia will ensure that it remains an independent, yet divided country.