russians march
Russian troops march towards a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of SimferopolReuters

The European Union has brought forward a trade and political agreement with Moldova and Georgia in an apparent attempt to snatch the two countries away from Russian lethal embrace.

The 28-nation bloc brought forward the planned date to June from August for the signing of the association agreements with the former Soviet republics.

A statement read:

The European Union reconfirms its objective to further strengthen the political association and economic integration with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. We confirm our aim to sign the Association Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, which we initialled in Vilnius last November, no later than June 2014.

The trade agreement is similar to the deal that set in motion the protests that ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich. His last-minute refusal to sign triggered protests that led to his removal.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia was putting pressure on Moldova and Georgia after the Ukrainian crisis.

The White House expressed its "strong support" for Georgia, which fought a war with Russia in 2008, but lost its territories of Ossetia and Abkhazia. The two swathes of land have been recognised by Russia as separatist entities and have become de facto post-Soviet states.

Moldova is fighting to contend with the separatist region of Transnistria, which remains unrecognised by Moscow, although the country keeps close ties with Russia.

Russian troops in Transnistria near the western border with Ukraine have started moving after the formal annexation of Crimea to Russia.