Author Topic: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?  (Read 2989 times)

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Offline David Rothscum

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Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« on: January 02, 2009, 01:17:30 pm »
First some information on the conflict:

Regions and territories: Trans-Dniester
Map of Moldova, including Trans-Dniester

The separatist region of Trans-Dniester - a narrow strip of land between the Dniester river and the Ukrainian border - proclaimed independence from Moldova in 1990.

The international community does not recognise its self-declared statehood, and the territory, which remains in a tense stand-off with Moldova, is often portrayed as a hotbed of crime.

In a September 2006 referendum, unrecognised by Moldova and the international community, the region reasserted its demand for independence and also backed a plan eventually to join Russia.

Soldier on guard in Trans-Dniester
Territory broke away from Moldova after a bloody conflict
A majority of the population are Russian speakers
Russian troops are stationed in Trans-Dniester

In the post World War II carve-up of the region, Moscow created Moldova's forerunner, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, from two disparate elements: the mainly Russian-speaking Dniester region, formerly an autonomous part of Ukraine, and the neighbouring region of Bessarabia, which had been part of Romania from 1918-1940.

But in the Soviet Union's dying days, alarm grew in the Dniester region over growing Moldovan nationalism and the possible reunification of Moldova with Romania. A 1989 law which made Moldovan an official language added to the tension, and Trans-Dniester proclaimed its secession in September 1990.

The breakaway territory's paramilitary forces took over Moldovan public institutions in the area in 1991. Fighting intensified, culminating in a battle on the right bank of the Dniester in June 1992. Up to 700 people were killed in the conflict.

A ceasefire was signed in July 1992, and a 10-km demilitarised security zone was established. The settlement was enforced by the Russian 14th Army forces already stationed in Trans-Dniester.

Russian presence

The ongoing presence of Russian troops has been a stumbling block in peace talks and the West is concerned about the Soviet-era arsenal in the territory. A pull-out began in 2001 but was halted when Trans-Dniester blocked the dispatch of weapons. Subsequent agreements to resume failed to reach fruition.

Long-running talks supervised by the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine have yet to yield a political solution. Attempts by Moldova to exert economic pressure on the Dniester authorities have failed to produce the desired result.

Trans-Dniester family walk by territory's emblem
Soviet symbols live on in Trans-Dniester
In 2004 a Russian-brokered plan, which would have made the presence of Russian troops permanent, sparked mass protests in Moldova and was shelved. Ukraine has since come up with settlement proposals but these too have stalled.

There are disputes over language issues. Though dominated by Russian-speakers, around 40% of the population in Trans-Dniester have Moldovan - which is virtually identical to Romanian - as a first language.

In 2004 the Trans-Dniester authorities forced some schools to close, ostensibly for using the Latin alphabet to teach Moldovan. The dispute sparked tit-for-tat measures, including economic sanctions and a rail blockade.

Trans-Dniester contains most of Moldova's industrial infrastructure, but its economic potential is limited by its international isolation. It has its own currency, constitution, parliament, flag and anthem. One of the last bastions of Soviet-style rhetoric, the territory has nonethless privatised some of its industrial enterprises.

The region is plagued by corruption, organised crime and smuggling. It has been accused of conducting illegal arms sales and of money laundering. Poverty is widespread.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 01:20:29 pm »

As Moldova aligns with NATO, Transdniester fears new attacks
TransnistriaOpenly aligning itself with NATO, Moldova has welcomed a permanent center for the military alliance in Chisinau. The move marks a decisive break with Moldova's constitutionally-mandated neutrality. Transdniester is convinced that Moldova is preparing for a second war against the territory.
By Jason Cooper, 02/Oct/2007
In Kosovo, NATO troops help make independence become a reality. But in Transdniester, their role would be the exact opposite

CHISINAU (Tiraspol Times) - In what many in Transdniester interpret as Moldovan war preparations, the Republic of Moldova has aligned itself with NATO and welcomed a permanent NATO center in Chisinau, its capital city. Technically illegal under Moldova's constitutional neutrality, the regime led by Communist Party president Vladimir Voronin is convinced that NATO- and EU expansion will help the country enforce its territorial claim over Transdniester and bring the territory under Moldovan control, by use of force if necessary.

Moldova's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration has announced the opening of the NATO center in conjunction with an international conference entitled “NATO: An Alliance of Values and Solidarity” which opened in Chisinau this Tuesday, 2 October.
The event is timed to coincide with the opening ceremony of the country's new permanent NATO center in Moldova's capital on Wednesday, 3 October.

Both functions are in the context of the country’s implementing an individual plan of action under the Moldova-NATO partnership program.
The new NATO center is paid for with a combination of American and Romanian funds. The Romanian Foreign Ministry contributed about 70,000 euros to the Center’s renovation and equipment. The American contribution has not yet been publicly disclosed.

Offensive warfare

Moldova, whose Constitution defines it as a neutral country, cooperates with NATO under the so-called Partnership for Peace program. The program has been described by former Ronald Reagan aide Dough Bandow as a precursor for NATO expansion, and there are clear signs that Moldova is now positioning itself for both European Union and NATO membership.

The Cold War military alliance held large-scale exercises in Moldova both this year and last year, under names such as Lancer-Longbow and Medceur, which were paid for in their entirety by the United States. American money is also helping to upgrade Moldova's military to NATO standards, and earlier this year the Moldovan parliament waived all visa requirements for foreign soldiers with the exception of Russians, which are not allowed entry to the country without a visa.

NATO is currently involved in Kosovo where its troops provide defensive cover for Muslim Albanian leaders as they prepare to declare independence. In Transdniester, however, analysts say that NATO's role with be reversed: Instead of helping to promote freedom and independence, it would use force to bring Transdniester under Moldovan control against the will of the inhabitants.

In 1999, NATO led a war against Yugoslavia which transformed the previously defensive alliance into a tool of offensive war, violating its basic purpose. Since then, NATO troops have engaged in other offensive warfare, including in Afghanistan, where a majority of the population now oppose the NATO presence.

Security balance at risk

Transdniester is currently at peace and its population just wants everything to stay that way.

NATO's increased involvement in Moldova is shifting the fragile security balance in the region, and that heightens the risk of war, say some in Tiraspol, the capital of Transdniester.

" - Moldova lost the last war, when they invaded us and found out that they couldn't subdue us by force. Our wish for independence was so strong that they were no match for us. So now they want to repeat the adventure, only this time they want someone else to fight their war for them," says Alex Kirov, a veteran of the 1992 struggle for independence.

" - By getting NATO and Moldova tangled up together, Moldova will become bold and stupid again," he says. "We don't think that is a good idea. There is peace now here in Transdniester, we live in peace, and we just want peace in the future, too. There is no good reason to risk that by making changes that will upset the calm and the peace that we all have today."

Irrelevant "regional squabbles"

Despite Moldova's wish for NATO support, not everyone in the West are prepared to send troops to the Dniester, noting that Moldova is a country which holds no vital interest that warrants guaranteeing its borders or enforcing its territorial claims. Although Moldova is now on the NATO wish list, it is part of a region with no serious link to U.S. security and no strategic role for Western Europe.

" - And if Moldova thinks that they can force Moldova and Transdniestria together as a result of NATO military action, they are smoking something," says commentator Michael Garner, who has written extensively on the issue for several publications.

" - Why should Americans patrol the border between Moldova and Transdniester, which is only of peripheral interest to Europe and of no concern to the U.S.?" he asks.

" - There is very little support among Moldovans and Transdniestrians for creating a common state within the borders of the wholly artificial Moldavian SSR that Stalin invented," he notes. "And it is an utopian goal of no practical value to America or even Europe. It is not even worth risking a single bullet for."

Bandow agrees, and warns that "expanding NATO has increased U.S. defense responsibilities in a region with little impact on American security. Continuing expansion may draw Washington into irrelevant regional squabbles, while needlessly exacerbating already potent nationalistic sentiments in Russia."

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 01:22:33 pm »
NATO war training in Moldova draws protests from locals
Transnistria NATO training exercises with Moldova's military drew bitter protests from local residents in Chisinau. Although theoretically neutral, Moldova has accepted American money to upgrade its military to NATO standards. The war exercises took place less than 20 miles from the Transdniestrian border and a demilitarized zone patrolled by peacekeepers.
By Times staff, 04/Aug/2007

Civil society protesters in Chisinau fear a deeper NATO-encroachment into neutral Moldova and a risk to Pridnestrovie (archive)

CHISINAU (Tiraspol Times) - Hundreds of local residents turned out for community protests against NATO-led "Medceur 2007" war exercises in Moldova on the central square of Chisinau on Friday.

Demonstrators carried banners reading "NATO, out of Moldova!"

" - We are against NATO exercises in Moldova, which is a neutral state according to its constitution," one of the protest co-organizers said.

" - We are peaceful people and we don't want NATO boots to step on the peaceful land of Moldova," said Valeriu Klimenko, a Chisinau councilman and local community leader.

The NATO war games are being held at Moldova's Bulboaca army grounds. This military training range is located just 30 kilometers (less than 20 miles) away from Transdniestria. Officially called Pridnestrovie, but also known as Transnistria, it is considered a legitimate military target by the Moldovan Ministry of Defense in its operative planning.

Fears of new war

In 1992 Moldova invaded Transdniestria in an attempt to impose its territorial claim over the unrecognized country. Its troops, which to a large degree consisted on recently released prison inmates, were fought back by local residents who preferred independence instead of imposed Moldovan rule.

Now, says Valeriu Klimenko, NATO's moves in the area are complicating the conflict settlement.

The war training event involves fourteen NATO member countries and non-member partners like Moldova. It began on July 28 and is entirely financed by the United States.

" - We'll also picket the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau and intend to continue our anti-NATO vigil until 10 August, the day of the end of the exercises," said Klimenko.

The border with Transdniestria is a demilitarized zone which is patrolled by an international peacekeeping force made up of troops from four different countries along with OSCE oversight. NATO-led military exercises should not take place close to the buffer zone, peacekeepers believe.

Despite objections, Moldova has played host to two other US-financed exercises over the past year. The previous drill near Transdniestria's border was code-named "Lancer–Longbow" and took place in September 2006. Protests against this exercise were outlawed.

Moldova routinely carries out joint military exercises with NATO, and has outfitted a number of important military facilities to NATO standards. The recently completed upgrades to NATO specs include Bulboaca and its Lunga-Merkulesht airfield, paid for with American money. According to military experts, Moldova has also been upgrading its weapons systems to NATO standards with technical and financial assistance from the military alliance. (With information from AP, Itar-Tass)

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 01:26:46 pm »

Smugglers run rife on the new frontline between east and west
Former Soviet republic fears it may be next on the Kremlin's hit list

Ian Traynor in Tiraspol, Transdniestra
The Guardian,  Friday 28 November 2008

The city of Bender in Transdniestra, the breakaway state at the centre of a ‘frozen confl ict’. Now Russia appears keen to reach a deal on reintegrating the strip into Moldova Photograph: Vadim Denisov/AFP/Getty

Imagine a country where every man, woman and child eats nothing but chicken. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day.

On paper, at least, that "country" is Transdniestra, the Russia-backed breakaway strip of Moldova that meanders down to the Black Sea and the Ukrainian port of Odessa, where the frozen chicken arrives by the container-load for Transdniestra's capital, Tiraspol.

"We're not so rich, you know," said Vladimir Yastrebchyak, the 29-year-old "foreign minister" of the separatist mini-state that is recognised by no one but maintained by the Kremlin. "People here can't afford pork and beef, so chicken is very popular. It's cheap."

Transdniestra is the world's biggest per capita importer of chicken, and also receives improbable volumes of cigarettes, alcohol and mobile phones. But the people are Europe's poorest. The goods are part of a massive contraband operation run by Russian, Ukrainian and local mafia, aided by local politicians and enjoying impunity courtesy of the Kremlin's secret police.

Transdniestra, a 125-mile strip only five miles wide, is used to avoid taxes and duties on goods going mainly to and from Ukraine and Russia. "The borders are porous, Odessa is only 90km [56 miles] away. The opportunities are immense," Moldova's president, Vladimir Voronin, told the Guardian. "Transdniestra is a perfect haven for smugglers."

But it's more than that. Since Romania joined the EU last year Moldova has sat on the EU's eastern border, bringing the mafia and the conflicts much closer to Europe and turning the country into a prize in what has become a contest for influence between Russia and Europe, particularly since Russia's war with Georgia in August.

While the Europeans grope for a policy towards the post-Soviet states of Ukraine and Moldova, the Kremlin is making plain that it views the river Dniestr as a new frontline, dividing Russia and its "sphere of influence" from the west. For 16 years Russian troops and security services have propped up the separatists, as they did in nearby Abkhazia and South Ossetia until they invaded and partitioned Georgia in August and recognised the two breakaway regions.

As a result of that first big post-cold war display of Russian muscle in Georgia, Moldova - which has a population of just over 4 million - is worried that it could be next on the Kremlin's hitlist.

"Back in the 1990s Russia was weak. Now it is strong. Enormous energy has been liberated in Russia by the Georgia conflict, and ever since the Russians have been testing us," said a senior European diplomat.

Last month the Foreign Office brought together many of those involved in the Moldova dispute to an English country house for talks. The Russians and their proxy leaders in Tiraspol, participants said, declared that the river Dniestr was the new east-west frontline. "We want to live in a Russian world," Yevgeniy Shevchuk, the rebel parliament speaker, told the UK conference.

But Moscow appears keen to reach a deal, on its terms, to end the "frozen conflict" that has kept what used to be the Soviet republic of Moldavia partitioned since a brief war in 1992 following the Soviet collapse. This month, for the first time in six years, the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, went to the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, for three hours of talks with Voronin, the only governing communist in Europe.

In return for agreeing to the reintegration of Transdniestra into Moldova, the Russians want several things: a federal settlement that would enable the pro-Russians to block legislation, pledges that Moldova will never join Nato, and the retention of Russian military bases and troops in Moldova. Some 1,200 Russian troops remain in Transdniestra.

"The Russians say 'this is our backyard and these are our friends'," said a western military officer. Another western official said: "There's a geopolitical aspect to this conflict. That's why neutrality is very important. Without that the Russians would not support any settlement. They have a real interest here."

Unlike Georgia and Ukraine, which are clamouring for Nato membership, the Moldovan government fears antagonising Moscow by getting closer to Nato. And while Moldovans have little faith in their own political class, widely viewed as corrupt, they watch Russian television and read Russian newspapers. President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin are the most popular politicians in Moldova, according to opinion polls.

"Russian culture has penetrated very deeply here. A solution to the Transdniestra problem largely depends on Russia," admitted Voronin.

The Europeans and Americans have warned him not to accept the Russian terms unless he wants to be abandoned to deal with his country's immense problems. About one in six people are abroad illegally, many of them in the EU. Trafficking of girls into sex slavery in Europe and the Middle East is another problem. "In the villages the males have already gone. There's no community left. So the girls go too," said the western official in Chisinau.

The migration has its positive side, with more than €1bn a year sent home to sustain relatives. According to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the remittances make up 38% of Moldova's economic output, the highest level in the world per capita.

The migration has spawned a passport contest. In Tiraspol a big yellow office acts as the Russian consulate two days a week, handing out passports. About 120,000 people in the breakaway region - a quarter of the population - have got Russian citizenship, supplying grounds for intervention by Russia, with Medvedev promising to defend fellow-citizens wherever they may be. "Most of us here have two or three passports," said a Tiraspol resident. "Just in case."

Romania - where Moldova is regarded as a province by nationalists - has also been offering passports.

"The Romanians staged a major public relations campaign, handing out application forms, 800,000 applied for Romanian citizenship," Mark Tkachuk, Voronin's main adviser, told analysts from the German Marshall Fund thinktank, which organised the Guardian's trip to Moldova. "It was a provocation to stoke [Romanian] unification."

It is not clear how many Moldovans obtained Romanian papers. Estimates range from 30,000 to half a million.

But the supply of passports, legal or illegal, is part of the bigger contest in which the rival powers play games and manipulate loyalties.

"If things get worse between the Russians, the Americans, and the Europeans, we'll be the hostages," said Vasile Sova, the Moldovan minister for reintegrating Transdniestra. "We want to be a place where the interests of the big powers converge, not where they clash."
Tension on Russia's rim

Kaliningrad Formerly part of Germany, Kaliningrad now belongs to Russia but is an exclave surrounded by the European Union. The Kremlin is threatening to install new missiles in Kaliningrad pointed at Poland, to counter the Pentagon's missile shield project.

Ukraine A big country split between pro-western and pro-Russian halves, there is much at stake in Ukraine. Its membership in Nato would inflame tensions with Moscow. Russia's Black Sea fleet is based at the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol under a leasing agreement. The Crimean region of Ukraine is populated by ethnic Russians.

Moldova The country has been partitioned since a brief war in 1992, with Russian troops and security services propping up the Transdniestra separatist regime.

Georgia The Russian rout of Georgia in the August war redrew borders in the Caucasus, with Moscow recognising the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Moscow is mediating in the Nagorno-Karabakh frozen conflict, with the issue important to the outcome of the contest for Caspian energy resources.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 01:29:15 pm »
Warning: these spots could be explosive in 2009
Can experts tell where conflicts will begin in the coming year? Where will the next South Ossetia be?
What in the world will go wrong this year? Whatever precautions politicians take to cover themselves, they are always caught out by the unexpected. What throws governments off course and plans into turmoil are, in Macmillan's phrase, “events, dear boy, events”.

A year ago it was already clear that Pakistan would remain one of the world's most dangerous and unstable nations in 2008 - though no one foresaw the fall of Pervez Musharraf or the Mumbai attacks. Bombings and killing were never likely to cease in Iraq. And the relentless increase in Taleban attacks, roadside bombs and Nato casualties in Afghanistan was sadly predictable. But who foresaw Russian tanks in Georgia, the banking collapse, or the worst riots in Greece for 30 years?

It is always the unexpected that has politicians, journalists and the UN Security Council scrambling. It will be the same in 2009. We will suddenly know the names of small towns caught up in a new conflict zone, understand the ethnic balance of warring communities or recapitulate forgotten history to show why the eruption of violence was always on the cards.

Planning can already begin for some of Donald Rumsfeld's “known unknowns”: for another terrorist atrocity in Pakistan or a provocative redoubling of nuclear enrichment in the laboratories of Iran to test the mettle of the new US president. Diplomats can gird themselves for a promised new round of Middle East diplomacy to salvage whatever is possible from the conflict in Gaza.

    * Forget the silliness. It's time to get serious in 2009

    * What's coming the world's way in 2009

    * Year of chaos causes havoc for predictions

    * 2009: the year in view

Nothing can be done to prepare governments for the unknown unknowns, however, or get foreign ministers to pay attention to the pleading of a minor diplomat in a faraway country who sees a tsunami rolling his way. But perhaps foreign ministries ought, for a change, to use their hindsight in advance.

The Georgian attack on South Ossetia, during the Olympic Games in Beijing, caught many by surprise. But not the Russians. And not those diplomats who had given warnings about Europe's “frozen conflicts”, unresolved disputes that arose from ethnic antagonisms within the old Soviet Union. There are still three others that could trigger violence.

One is Nagorno-Karabakh. This is a patch of territory, inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians, inside the borders of neighbouring Azerbaijan. In 1988 the local assembly passed a resolution calling for unification with Armenia. Violence against local Azeris triggered a massacre of Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. The conflict escalated and in 1991 the Azeris occupied most of the region. The Armenians counterattacked and by 1994 had seized back the enclave and a swath of adjacent territory. Some 600,000 Azeri refugees fled. A Russian-brokered ceasefire was imposed in 1994, by which time about 25,000 people had died.

Little has changed since. Periodic talks on a settlement have failed. Armenia still controls the territory it occupied and the refugees are still homeless. But with Azerbaijan's new oil wealth, increasing assertiveness and hostility to Russia, an attack to retake the territory is always possible - provoking a counterattack by Armenia, intervention by Russia and the same international escalation seen in Georgia in the summer.

Then there is Transdniestria, the sliver of territory along the boundary of Moldova and Ukraine, largely Russian-populated and a hotbed of smuggling, corruption and organised crime. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region proclaimed secession from Moldova, triggering fighting along the Dniester river. A ceasefire was signed in 1992 and a stand-off is still in place after the Russian Army prevented Moldova subduing the province. In any of these regions, renewed fighting could provoke a wider dispute between Russia and its neighbours.

The Balkans could also have a new round of fighting. The Kosovo Serbs are unreconciled to the province's independence, and might provoke violence in order to draw in Serbia. In neighbouring Macedonia, the Albanian minority is chafing at what it sees as discrimination against it and hankers for union with Albania. And the tranquillity in Bosnia may be deceptive if any of the former combatants attempts to alter the status quo.

Europe, however, is more prepared than Asia for trouble. Thailand shows that democracies are not immune to subversion by the mob. The airport blockades, defiance of the police and demonstrations have exposed a collapse in government authority and deep-seated hostility between the urban middle class and rural supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled former Prime Minister. Another military coup looks all too possible.

As the economic downturn bites, conflicts masked by fast growth could gather pace. Long-running rebellions have racked India's isolated north east; and in the central provinces Maoists, known as Naxalites, have been waging a campaign of terror against government targets. Most ominous, however, is the possible radicalisation in India of the 150 million-strong Muslim minority, marked by the emergence of groups claiming responsibility for recent terrorist bombings. The run-up to the general election in May could see communal violence on an unprecedented scale, paralysing India's politics and driving away investment.

China, too, has ethnic rebellions. There seems little chance that Tibetans will again be able to defy Beijing. But in the remote north west the Uigurs, non-Han Muslims, are fiercely opposed to Chinese rule and further terrorist attacks in Xinjiang could provoke a violent response from the Chinese Government.

Clashes triggered by religious conflict could also threaten Indonesia, where massacres by extremist Muslims of Christians in Sulawesi have led to reprisals and heightened tensions. The central Government has only weak control in the fissiparous provinces; a worsening of the economic situation could fuel widespread anger that is easily exploited.

Similar long-running clashes in the Philippines, where a Muslim insurgency in the south has been helped by al-Qaeda, could lead in turn to terrorism in an attempt to provoke government repression. Tensions along the religious faultline splitting the Muslim north of Nigeria and the south have already led to sporadic violence. That can easily spread. And unless the political turbulence is resolved in Thailand, the Muslim insurgency in the southern provinces could threaten much of the peninsula.

Africa, too, will provide more horrors: Zimbabwe, Somalia, Darfur and Congo could all implode into renewed war, massacres and starvation, each having the potential to suck in neighbours. Neither on this continent, nor across a restless world, can stability be underpinned as long as markets, economies and global trade remain in turmoil: 2009 will be a year that many statesmen would like to avoid.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 01:41:06 pm »
Summary: Vladimir Voronin wants reunification of an artificial SSR created by Stalin, and asks NATO for their help. If your country's constitution demands you to be neutral, what the hell are you doing at a NATO summit in the first place, and why do you want to join the EU?

Vladimir Voronin at NATO Summit: Moldova is the only Eastern European state with over half a million Moldovans held hostage by separatist regime

April 4 2008

“The Republic of Moldova continues to be the only Eastern European state politically and territorially divided with over half a million Moldovans held hostage by a separatist regime,” President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin said at the NATO Summit held in Bucharest.

In the speech delivered at the summit, the head of state said that Moldova is making every effort to attract the attention of the international community to the uncertain situation in the eastern part of the country. According to him, the effects of the conflict as well as the obstacles it places to modernizing Moldova and its interrelationship with such current subjects of international security as the CFE Treaty, the extension of NATO, the anti-rocket defense systems in Europe and the Kosovo case are evident.

“We want to identify a solution that would center on the demilitarization and banning of the deployment of foreign troops and military facilities on our territory in accordance with Moldova’s recognized status of neutrality and would grant the Transnistrian region an equitable status as part of a sovereign, indivisible and territorially integral Moldova,” Vladimir Voronin said.

“We would like to mention that 17 years after Moldova proclaimed its independence, it wants support from the international community in avoiding destructive polemics regarding our national identity and the present borders so as it could concentrate on its pro-European aspirations and could actively involve all the parties in the process of recognizing Moldova’s constitutional neutrality and promoting the country’s reunification according to the international law,” the Moldovan head of state said.

In conclusion, Vladimir Voronin said that if Moldova achieved this goal, it could become a model for successfully solving frozen conflicts, a state of security and prosperity that managed to employ all the available instruments for identifying a peaceful solution to the Transdniestrian dispute, changing from a consumer of security into a factor of regional stability.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 01:51:48 pm »
Moldova pledges not to join NATO if Russia accepts its sovereignty over Trans-Dniester
CHISINAU, Moldova: Moldova's President said in remarks published Wednesday that a deal may be reached with Russia under which the Trans-Dniester region remains part of Moldova in return for Moldova's promise never to join NATO.

"Soon we will have a final solution to the Trans-Dniester conflict," President Vladimir Voronin was quoted as saying in the Russian daily Kommersant.

Trans-Dniester, a small Russian-speaking enclave in eastern Moldova, fought a war with Moldova in 1992 that left more than 1,000 people dead. It is not international recognized as a separate country.

The leaders of Trans-Dniester would like Russia to recognize its independence. Russia has supported Trans-Dniester but has not recognized it.

The deal with Russia, Veronin said, would include guarantees that Trans-Dniester would retain broad autonomy within Moldova. And Moldova would recognize the sale of state enterprises that have taken place in the separatist region, he said.

In addition, Moldova would take on Trans-Dniester's US$1.5 billion (€0.97 billion) debt to the Russian gas company, Gazprom.

Voronin also suggested Moldova might leave GUAM, a regional organization set up with Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which some say is anti-Russian. He said it would be necessary for "a declaration recognizing Moldova's permanent neutrality" to be signed Russia, Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russia has 1,500 troops stationed in Trans-Dniester. They guard large weapons storage facilities left over from the former Soviet military.

Voronin met President Vladimir Putin for talks in Moscow in February.

Offline Al Bundy

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Re: Trans-Nistria; the next South Ossetia?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 04:56:09 am »
Russia is capable of "punching" an air corridor to Transnistria with ECM (electronic countermeasures). S-300 will not help Kiev.

As you know, recently Kiev made one more attempt to provoke Russia into an armed conflict, illegally reversing the the agreement on transit through the territory of Ukraine of Russian military personnel stationed in Transnistria. Ukrainian command demonstratively transported a S-300 division, placing it in the Chernomorskoe [meaning "Black Sea"- KR] village in the Eastern suburbs of Odessa.