Russia's decision to sign a treaty to annex the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, after a referendum held under Russian military occupation showed overwhelming support for the move, has further damaged relations with the West.
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The United States and the EU imposed travel bans and asset freezes against a number of officals from Russia and Ukraine following Sunday's referendum and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Moscow's action a "land grab".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call that such sanctions were unacceptable and threatened "consequences", without going into detail.
Trans-Dniestrian citizens: A 'mixed picture'
Trans-Dniester is recognized as part of Moldova by the U.N. rather than as an independent state, but the region is self-governed and runs its own institutions.
Moldova has a population of approximately 3.56 million. Crimea has 2.3 million people compared to Trans-Dniester, the thin strip of land between the Dniester river and the Ukraine border, which is populated by approximately 550,000 people and has its own currency, the Trans-Dniester rouble.
At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Moldova as a constitutive republic of the USSR wanted independence but Trans-Dniester wanted to stay with Russia. There was a short, but bloody war in 1992, but the issue has never been fully resolved.
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Teneo's Dhand said many citizens living in the region have as many as three passports: a Trans-Dniesterian one which is not recognized, a Russian one and potentially one other from "whichever other country allows them to have one. So it is complicated to define each and every person, where they belong,"she said.
The referendum held in Trans-Dniester in 2006 resulted in about 97 percent of the population voting for independence and to join Russia.
By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter