Republic of Moldova and the transnistrian conflict the impact of NATO and the European Union enlargements on the dispute resolution process
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With Romania's acceptance into NATO, the Republic of Moldova found itself at the frontier of the North-Atlantic Alliance. This thesis evaluates the impact of NATO and European Union enlargements on the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict in the eastern part of the Republic of Moldova. Theoretically, recent changes in the geo-political environment in Europe can bring a new impetus to the process of political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. In the wake of these changes, Moldovan leadership is looking for new supporters to back Moldova in the stand-off against Russia on the Transnistrian issue. In this respect, NATO and the EU appear to be appropriate candidates. Either one of these two organizations, taken separately, possesses enough potential to create an asymmetry against Russia. Would these two institutions get more involved in the fate of this intra-state conflict? Possible courses of action of actors involved will be analyzed through the prisms of realism and liberal institutionalism theories of international relations. Rationale for further enlargement will be assessed against "soft power" resources, such as values, norms and knowledge, accumulated over the years and shared by member-states within both alliances.
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