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The Breakaway Republic Of Transnistria May Or May Not Support Scottish Independence

This is one of the more effusive emails we've received from a press office.

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A few days ago BuzzFeed News asked the government of the breakaway republic of Transnistria, a small Russian-backed splinter state sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova, whether it was in favour of Scottish independence.

Stringer / Reuters

Transnistria, which has a population of around 500,000 and is only recognised by three other disputed territories, has held multiple referendums on its separation from Moldova since the early 1990s.

In 2006 it held a vote in which an astonishing 97% of the population backed greater association with Russia. That said, observers cast doubt on the validity of these results.

As a small territory that has split off from a greater neighbour, we wondered whether it would be backing a Yes vote in today's Scottish independence referendum.

(FYI: The country doesn't officially call itself Transnistria, instead preferring the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, or PMR.)

We just received this reply:

Dear Mr. Waterson!

Thank you for your address.

It goes without saying that people in Pridnestrovie are attentively watching the events in the UK, especially as our country has an internationally unprecedented experience in referendums relating to state-building and the choice of foreign policy development vector.

Our republic was founded in 1990 by the will of the people, expressed in referenda. In 1991 the country held a referendum in which 97.7% of the participated citizens voted for the independence. In 2006 the people of the Republic once again by an absolute majority vote - 97% - supported the independent development, followed by free joining Russia.

Today, public, nationwide support is the key to the immutability of the chosen course; it allows the state to remain "afloat" in spite of the unrecognized status and difficulties, which the citizens struggle with, due to the economic pressure from neighboring states.

Pridnestrovian people believe it is the method of state formation through referendum which provides its democratic character. The right of peoples to self-determination is one of the most important and inalienable rights, which are enshrined in international documents, recognized by the world civilized community.

We believe that the voice of the Scottish people must be heard by the world community.

Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

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