MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Most citizens of the self-declared republic of Transdniestria bordering Moldova and Ukraine call for joining Russia, says a poll of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) published on Friday.
"The future of Transdniestria for the overwhelming majority of citizens is closely associated with Russia: 86% believe that accession to Russia is the most suitable path of development. The ideas of joining Moldova or Romania are extremely unpopular (they are backed by 2% and less than 1%, respectively). Some 9% of the polled call for preserving independence," the state-run pollster said.
The survey shows that the expected voter turnout at the presidential elections in the Transdniestria republic is very high - 87% of citizens say they are ready to take part in the vote if it is held in the near future.
The poll says that Vadim Krasnoselsky, who chairs Transdniestria’s parliament, the Supreme Council, is among the most popular candidates - some 24% of respondents said they would support him. Just 11% of the polled said they were ready to vote for the current President Evgeny Shevchuk. Other candidates enjoy the support of between 1 and 7% of respondents. Some 50% of respondents said they would never back Shevchuk.
The poll was conducted on June 2-9, 2016 among 1,200 respondents across Transdniestria. The margin of error does not exceed 2.8%
Transdniestria, a largely Russian-speaking region, broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its relations with Moldova’s central government in Chisinau have been highly mixed and extremely tense at times ever since then. In 1992 and 1993, the tensions erupted into a bloody armed conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides.