The paper examines the possibilities of Russian aggression on former Soviet republic, Moldova. It suggests three possible ways in which Kremlin might begin it with the one being beginning from Transnistria, unrecognized breakaway state supported and protected by Russia, however, internationally recognized as a part of Moldova. Summary of the paper is as follows:
Russia could target Moldova by embarking on a limited-scope but overt military invasion; or by pursuing more covert hybrid aggression scenarios.
The three most plausible Russian aggression scenarios are: a military action launched from Transnistria; a local, elite-focused rebellion similar to Russia’s exploits in Donbas in 2014, likely centring on the Moldovan region of Gagauzia; and popular unrest stoked by Russia and containing violent elements.
The EU and Moldova underestimate the risk of one or more of these happening.
The EU’s preferred “resilience” approach to hybrid threats lacks an active component that can effectively respond to, and repel, Russian aggression.
Moldova should draw on Western support to implement an “active resilience” policy to better confront and undermine Russian actions.
The EU should set up a CSDP mission in Moldova comprising both civilian and military components that helps the Moldovan authorities plan and conduct security threat assessments and protect against military and hybrid risks.