Moldova Presses Russia over Transnistria: What Next?

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Wirten by Alex Gorka; Originally appeared at Strategic-culture.org

The government of Moldova has called on the United Nations to discuss the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the breakaway Transnistria region at the upcoming 72ndsession of the General Assembly to open on September 12. A letter from the Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru, was forwarded on August 22, calling the presence of Russian troops in Transnistria «a threat to international peace and security».

Moldova Presses Russia over Transnistria: What Next?

The Russian Federation has stationed about 1,200 troops in Transnistria in accordance with the «Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova» signed on July 21, 1992 by the presidents of Russia and Moldova in the presence of Transnistria’s leader. Transnistria, 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 tense ever since. In 1992, a bloody armed conflict sparked, with civilian casualties estimated in hundreds on both sides. The truce ended a war between pro-Russian forces and the Moldovan military.

Besides the peacekeepers, there are also around 800 Russian military personnel who guard ammunition depots near Kolbasna settlement left over from the days of the USSR. Their scrapping and removal started in 2001, but was blocked by Transnistria’s residents in 2004 amid deteriorating relations with Chisinau.

In 2008, NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution urging Russia to «withdraw its illegal military presence from the Transnistrian region of Moldova in the nearest future». Since 2014, after conflict erupted in Ukraine, Moldova has banned Russian military from crossing its territory and the Russian Aerospace Forces from landing at the airport in Chisinau.

In November 2016, the defense ministers of Moldova and Ukraine concluded an agreement on the organization of a «green corridor» for the withdrawal of Russian troops, together with weapons, from the territory of the Transnistrian Republic. It was perceived by Moscow as a provocative move as neither Russia nor Transnistria had been consulted.

On May 2, the Constitutional Court of Moldova declared unconstitutional the presence of Russian soldiers on the territory of the Transnistrian region of the republic. On July 30, the Government of Moldova called the Russian peacekeepers «a factor in the freezing of the Transnistrian conflict».

In July, Moldova’s parliament adopted a declaration, asking Russia to withdraw its troops from Transnistria. The move came a day after the Moldovan Foreign Ministry warned the military aircraft with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on board was not allowed to land in Chisinau for a visit to mark the 25th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Transnistria. Andrei Neguta, the Moldovan ambassador to Russia, was invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin expressed a firm protest against the Moldovan government’s decision to declare Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin a persona non-grata.

The official emphasized that Russia has been consistently working to develop good relations with Moldova in the past few years. In contrast, Chisinau’s irresponsible steps are aimed at deliberately undermining bilateral relations.

Moldova’s President Igor Dodon condemned the declaration on withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers adopted by the parliament, accusing the pro-Western lawmakers of trying to worsen relations with the Russian Federation. He also claimed that such a decision could only come from «outside Moldova», presumably referring to Romania. Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and several Romanian ministers were in Chisinau on July 21 – the day the resolution was passed – for a joint government meeting with the Moldovan executive.

The parliamentary resolution was not approved unanimously. «This is a serious violation of common sense. At least allow us to look at it properly», Socialist MP Vlad Batrancea said in parliament. «We believe this is a geopolitical provocation», he added. The lawmakers from the opposition Socialist Party left the parliament’s meeting in protest.

Transnistria’s legislators condemned the declaration, adopted by the Moldovan parliament. The Transnistrian authorities also strongly oppose the Moldova’s plan to withdraw Russian peacekeepers. During 25 years, the peacekeeping mission has been a success. There have been no clashes. After all, nobody else but Moldova insisted on an international peacekeeping force in 1992.

Russia considers Moldova’s letter to the United Nations requesting the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Transnistria as another hostile action. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, has objected to the Moldovan government’s call for the UN to discuss withdrawing Russian troops at the next month’s General Assembly session. He believes the «sudden move» was «not very friendly», especially in view that Moscow had not been warned in advance of this request. The Russian representative to the UN also said that this initiative of Moldova would not contribute to the 5 + 2 talks on Transnistrian settlement.

There is a very important aspect of the problem to be mentioned here. Chisinau puts forward the argument that the 1999 OSCE Istanbul summit included the commitment by the Russian Federation to withdraw from Transnistria by December 31, 2002. It fails to mention the fact that the agreement was linked to the provisions of the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) that limited NATO and Warsaw force disposition in Europe. The treaty was never fully observed by NATO as it kept on expanding. In 2007, Russia suspended its participation in the treaty, and on 10 March 2015, citing NATO’s de facto breach of the CFE, Russia formally announced it was completely halting its participation in it as of the next day. The treaty has become history today, it’s not effective anymore. It’s worth to emphasize that the Istanbul document does not rescind the 1992 truce accord.

There is no doubt that the Moldovan letter is an element of the propaganda war to be used by the West in its effort to paint Russia as an «aggressor». Ukraine will use the opportunity for attacks against Russia.

And now, last but not least. Neither the Moldovan government, excluding the president, nor the parliament has mentioned the need to take into account the opinion of Transnistrian people. After all, they have the right for self-determination. The Moldovan letter to the United Nations includes everything but the right of the Transnistrian people to decide their own fate. Should Russia abandon them?

Is there any guarantee there will be no armed conflict sparked right after the Russian military personnel’s withdrawal? If Russia leaves and innocent people die again, will Moldova take on responsibility? Will it be ready to admit its guilt? Is there any other OSCE member but Russia willing to dispatch peacekeepers to Transnistria and shoulder the expenditure? Is there any progress on finding a solution to the problem through talks? Finally, is Moldova ready to provide answers to all these questions at the United Nations General Assembly’s session in September?

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  • Florin Dragan

    Transnistria is not a historically romanian teritory but Moldova must unite with Romania, it is the only way which will improve the russian-romanian relations and as romanian and I want this very much. I like Russia in many ways, we are both ortodox nations and we share many common things. Romania can be the best friend of Russia but first they must allow us to unite our nation.

    • Huisje tuintje boontje beesje

      Ask the poeple in odessa and the Krim how they feel about the romanians !? The Russians helped you to get rid of the Turks ,as compensation you stab them several times in the back !
      I don’t think the Russian auw you something , and regarding the previous experience i guess Moldova schould be a neutral buffer zone between the Russian influence zone and NATO !

      • Solomon Krupacek

        Ask the poeple in odessa and the Krim how they feel about the romanians !?
        irrelevant

        • Tudor Miron

          Yes, sure :) Peoples opinion and needs are irrelevant for Zio Cabbal. We know that already but thanks for reconfirming.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            ukrainians are not modavian citzens. i would ask them and not in other country.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            i see, you are dirty brezhnevian communist. shoot you!

          • Tudor Miron

            Shoot me? Who, you? LOL! You can only shoot Palestinian teens at best and even that is questionable. Come, come my little Jew friend – try and do what you are bragging about :)
            Commies were a creation of your Zio-nazi gang – don’t try to blame others for your crimes.

    • Tudor Miron

      First of all not all Moldavians are supportive to unite with Romania. Some of them didn’t forget that Romania was Hitler’s ally during WWII :) Than with Hitler and now with Nato. I’m Russian of Moldavian nationality, born in Leovo, I know what I’m talking about.

      2nd – Moldavians already tasted what it means to be associated with EU :) In fact, every important aspects of human life (education, jobs, corruption etc., etc. is much worse now than when Moldova was part of CCCP). Darn! Moldova is one of the poorest ex-Soviet Republics now – that was not the case some 25 years ago. Soviet build infrastructure is falling apart and literally nothing new is build.

      3d. Latest presidential vote revealed that majority supports improving relations with Russia and see it as much more beneficial for Moldavian people than reuniting with Romania. Those US puppets that still occupy Moldavian parlament – Moldavian people is the last thing that they care about. I really think that most of them would not be in parlament after next vote (2018 most probably)

      Romania can be the best friend of Russia… Being NATO member? While NATO is destroying entire countries and killing billions (ME as the latest example).

      • Solomon Krupacek

        First of all not all Moldavians are supportive to unite with Romania
        for this is good thing plebiscit. let tehm decide, litttle brezhnev.

        2nd – Moldavians already tasted what it means to be associated with EU
        :) In fact, every important aspects of human life (education, jobs,
        corruption etc., etc. is much worse now than when Moldova was part of
        CCCP

        sure not .DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

      • Jesus

        Vorbesti romaneste?

        • Tudor Miron

          Ворбеск.

  • arnulf arun

    russian military must stay and protect the people from transnistria. moldovia and romania are just being used by the west in their push to the east.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      yes, everybody is used by west. also the west. :)))

      • arnulf arun

        :)

    • Justin

      absolutely!

    • TheLulzWarrior

      Fuck the EU puppet regime of Moldova, fuck them till they die!

  • Barba_Papa

    In the end though Moldova is in the right. Transnistria is part of Moldovan territory and as such it has the right to decide what to do on its own territory. Including asking foreign troops based there to leave. And the presence of the Russian troops kept this a frozen conflict, just like Abchazia and South Ossetia. And the Donbass. Whether it will be good for the people of Transnistria remains to be seen, then again, as long as Russian forces were based there the Transnistrians could say no to any Moldovan settlement proposal. Now they have to reach a settlement. Or go to war again. Either way this conflict will be resolved one way or another.

    • EmilyEnso

      Transnistria is part of Moldovan territory and as such it has the right to decide what to do on its own territory.

      Kosovo was/is part of Serbia.
      You are guilty of blatant double standards or are you just another anti Russian, pro NATO poster.
      Seems you are or you would understand that like the Crimea, Transnistria should have the right to determine its own future.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        kosovo was autonomous territory within serbia.

        • EmilyEnso

          It was still part of Serbia.
          The attack on Serbia was illegal in every sense as was the destruction of its borders.
          If Kosovo set a precedent then Transnistria should have the same right of self determination.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            and in nirmal country if one part do not want live together with the rest, leave. so simply.
            like crimea :P

          • EmilyEnso

            Like Transnistria you mean.
            Yep.
            They tried that and got slaughted by Moldovan military.
            Thats why they need Russian Peace keepers.

      • Barba_Papa

        Less soapboxing please, I never excused what the NATO did with Kosovo. What Russia did with Transnistria, Abchazia and South Ossetia was just as wrong as what the NATO did with Kosovo. It’s a military intervention in the affairs of another country, followed by a defacto occupation of those parts. And the Crimea was a blantant land grab that all people here would scream bloody murder about if it was the US that pulled the same stunt.

        I can’t help but escape the impression that many people are so anti-US and anti-West that they start seeing the sun shine out of Russia’s arse, just because it opposes the West. Anything Russia does or has done gets immediately defended. Remember, Russia is not perfect and the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, just my enemy’s enemy.

        • EmilyEnso

          The Georgian vicious sneak attack on the people of South Ossetia and the murder of hundreds was an atrocity.
          That Russia responded as it did was lauded by most real free people around the planet.
          Clearly you are an unfortunate victim of fake news and US/NATO propaganda.
          I have posted a link below to a highly reputable organization who will inform you and put you straight as to the facts.
          http://www.globalresearch.ca/georgia-s-invasion-of-south-ossetia-two-years-on/20500?print=1
          Its sad to see people like you being misled by lies, as you have been.
          I trust it will enable you to see the real facts.

          • Barba_Papa

            You mistake me for a Western apologists. I am not arguing the morals about whether or not who is in the right or not. From a legal point of view Abchazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia and Georgia is in the right to do something about it. How they did it was, I agree, boneheadedly stupid. But the continued situation where there are breakaway parts of countries, that can only exist because of the presence of a foreign military presence, is not a good thing, not even for Russia, that cannot be sustained indefinitely. And the continued presence of of Russian troops keeps the locals from making a deal with the central government. Because why should they? Mother Russia will foot their bill, no matter what crazy antics and shenanigans they pull. After all, those breakaway republics are legal non-entities on the world map. Neither international nor national law holds any sway there. There’s no way in hell that doesn’t breed hotspots for crime and smuggling. After all, it did so too in Kosovo.

          • EmilyEnso

            You do not have the right to sneak up on your own population and on Russian peacekeepers and slaughter them in their beds.
            End of.

        • RedBaron9495

          Barba_Papa –> Is just another member of the CIA (or NATO associated country) cyber army shilling on pro-Russia web forums. So blatantly obvious!
          He might as well be reading straight from CNN news articles!

          • Barba_Papa

            You got me, dude. Now, if you excuse me I will collect my NATO paycheck and hang out with my hot CIA handler, I think she’s got the hots for me.

    • Tudor Miron

      “the presence of the Russian troops kept this a frozen conflict, just like Abchazia and South Ossetia. And the Donbass.”
      In fact their presense is the only thing that saved Ossetians, Abhasians from being wiped out from the fact of this planet. 2008 showed that very well for those who thought otherwise. Just go to Ossetia and Abhasia – talk to people on the ground.
      As for Donbass – there’s no Russian troops there :) How come no one could film anything? How come there’s still no evidence of Russian armed forces? Yes, the west tried very hard to provoke WWIII in 2014 and it was that close. Russia didn’t allow to drag itself into open military conflict but it seems that they will keep trying.
      Sure there are lots of Russian volunteers helping locals defending Donbass and they do a good job of it. Sure there’s help with arms and mil.expert advise. What did you want? That they seat and wath benderites burning our brothers alive like they did in Odessa? Russians would never forgive Putin if he would let it happen. Again – go there and talk to people on the ground – than you’ll know the truth not some MSM lies fed to you.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        “In fact their presense is the only thing that saved Ossetians, Abhasians from being wiped out from the fact of this planet.”
        bullshit!

        why do you not criticiuze russian mass murderings in chechnya?

        • Tudor Miron

          Mass murderings? Chechnia is thriving now, when liberated from Zio-slave wahabbi scums :) Go there and try to tell this to Chechens and I wouldn’t give a penny for your sorry ass.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            chechnia is mass grave. and moscow bribed kadyrov. there is an islamic state within russia.

            but you jumped over that reality, that russians killed everybody in way. civilians, women, children.

            in never of by you mentiond country were in danger minorities.

          • RedBaron9495

            Russia has no problem with minorities or any other religions…..as the Russian Federation and previously Soviet Union and before that the Russian Empire…were built on containing 100’s of different ethnic tribes and multiple different religions.

            The vast majority of Chechens are now happy being consolidated into the Russian Federation…..the few thousand Wahhabi extremists are a minority and have escaped into mountainous rural areas. They don’t play any role in modern day Chechnya.

      • Barba_Papa

        I don’t put much stock in socalled ‘Russian volunteers’. Russia is just as likely to spread falsehoods and lies as any other news medium. I suspect that if Russia could get away with it in Syria there wouldn’t be a Russian military intervention either, just ‘Russian volunteers’.

        The point remains though that as long as Russian troops are there as peacekeepers in Transnistria, Abchazia and South Ossetia those conflicts remain frozen. Just like Turkish occupied Cyprus. Neither the locals nor Russia has any interest in reaching a settlement as the current status quo suits them perfectly. The locals have their little state within a state, the Russians a presence in other countries from which to exert influence in those countries. That is not a situation that can be sustained indefinitely.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Clearly… west seek another war front for Russia…Moldova and Ukraine are just NATO Hitmen!..Russia should send troops to Odessa and then build a corridor from Transnistria to Black sea!

    • Solomon Krupacek

      idiot!

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Not and accurate argument for a talmudic jew…by the way Nato peace troops are in Kosovo…Serbian land stolen by NATO and Terrorist/mafia gangsters!

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Have to agree but it was the US who stole the land against the wishes of other NATO countries by building Camp Bond Steel in violation of International law and UN resolutions. The US funded and ran the P.R. on this and even lied about every incident and block any country providing forensic evidence to the contrary to their narrative.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          talmud is your father raping you daily!

          make war in your country, nazi warmonger! not in europe!

          • Manuel Flores Escobar

            Who is your Bio father? an SS soldier ?…

          • Solomon Krupacek

            you are nazi, not me

  • Solomon Krupacek

    russians must go home from transistria. if the moldavian govenment want it, the international low is on their side. russia must learn to make big politics without occupaions. this tsar and soviet model is ineffective and makes only enemies. russia has no friendly country in the world. alrady lukashenko torned back to putin. this is not good way.

    • RedBaron9495

      The term “International Community” only represents about 30+ countries around the world —-> USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and European NATO vassal states.
      There are nearly 200 countries on this planet….and Russia has very good relations with the majority of them….with exception to the so-called ZioAnglo “International Community” LOL

      https://tariganter.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/the-international-community-for-dummies.jpg

      .

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Russia doesn’t give its neighbours the surety of protection that is why their are siding with NATO.Russian officials are talking only about western colleagues while USA never care about them.Look what happened to Libya,Iraq and Syria. Even North Korea which it’s closers neighbour are starve under its eyes with its support after USA=UN=NATO oppression resolution.Currently USA is airlifting ISIS to Deir Ezor again ISIS and Turkey are treating wounded terrorist instead of arrest.But everyday Lavrov and Putin are talking about western colleagues.Seriousness is western colleagues are giving weapons to Ukraine and pumping lots of troops and weapons to Russian neighbouring countries to destroy Russian people.Russia always includes Turkey in Syrian affairs while Erdogan uses surended terrorists as FSA to attack Syrian troops.Russia stand up for your rights worry about The Russian citizen’s safety.

    • RedBaron9495

      I have to agree with you there…..i wish Putin and his advisers were more militaristic and no-nonsense!
      I also agree they should stop using the term of “partners”….it sounds so sickly and inappropriate!

      • Arthur Smith

        In contrast to msm image, Putin strongly opposes any violence. He was a compromise figure from the beginning and can stretch pretty far as long as you don’t hurt (by his understanding) the people. He bids time, but he can’t make fundamental change. Russian monetary policy is still controlled by IMF and it’s ok for him. For him it’s the Golden Horde occupation again and he is willing to pay for peace as long as possible. You don’t do “militaristic and no-nonsense” fractured society and strangled economy and he doesn’t want to be the one spilling the blood to fix them. And even if he was willing, there is no government capable of realizing such initiatives.

  • Bob

    NATO troops in breakaway Kosovo
    Russian Federation troops in breakaway Transnistria
    What’s good for one is good for the other…