Timeline: Moldova, caught between Russia and West

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Moldova, a small country with a Romanian-speaking majority wedged between Ukraine and Romania, has been torn between Russia and the west since it gained independence with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russian peacekeepers occupy a mainly Russian-speaking breakaway sliver of territory called Transdniestria, while political power in the capital Chisinau has oscillated for years between pro-Russian and pro-Western political parties.


Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, President Maia Sandu has warned of potential interference from Moscow, while joining Kyiv in seeking full membership of the European Union.

Following is a timeline of major events in Moldova's three-decade history as a small buffer between Russia and the West:

Aug. 27, 1991: Moldova declares independence from Moscow following a failed coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It would join the United Nations in March of the following year.

March July 1992: Fighting erupts between forces of newly independent Moldova and separatists in Transdniestria. Russian troops based in the area intervene and the fighting ends with a ceasefire. Transdniestria has remained beyond the control of Chisinau ever since.

April 7, 2009: After Communists win a parliamentary election, protesters seize and torch the parliament building and the presidential residence in Chisinau.

Nov. 29, 2013: Moldova initials an association agreement with the European Union, which would lead to closer trade, commercial and political ties. Moscow responds in 2014 by imposing retaliatory trade restrictions on Moldova's agricultural exports.

2014-2015: The equivalent of around 1 billion dollars is looted from Moldova's banking system in a gargantuan corruption scandal that brings economic and political crisis.

Nov. 15, 2020: Pro-Western candidate Maia Sandu defeats pro-Russian incumbent Igor Dodon in a landslide run-off presidential vote.

March 3, 2022: A week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Moldova joins Ukraine and Georgia in formally applying for fast- track membership of the EU.

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