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25 years since the start of the Transnistrian war, commemorated by Moldova’s constitutional authorities

On March 2nd, the Republic of Moldova commemorates the start of the armed conflict in the Eastern region, the so-called Transnistria. It is an occasion to commemorate those who fought and died in the armed conflict for defending the integrity and the independence of Moldova against the Russia-backed separatist forces.

On March 2, 1992, the first Moldovan President Mircea Snegur authorized the attack on the separatist groups from Transnistria who were backed by the former 14th Soviet Army, taken under the control of Russia at that moment. On the same date, Moldova was admitted in the United Nations.

razboi-nistru-transnistria

As Moldova didn’t have armed forces at that time, the legal authorities used the police and volunteers to fight the Transnistrian Guard and cossacks residing in Dubăsari, Bender and Tiraspol.

Around 29000 people participated in the armed conflict and some estimate that 287 died. The war ended on 21 July 1992, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Moldovan President Mircea Snegur signed the ceasefire, the so-called agreement on the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

In 2017, the Transnistrian war, often referred as the war for defending the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, turns 25 years since the beginning. The event was commemorated at Chișinău with solemn marches of soldiers and policemen holding photos of the deceased independence fighters.

The Prime-Minister, Parliament speaker and President went to the memorial monument “Eternitate” in Chișinău and to the meeting of commemoration in Varnița, a village bordering the past battlefield. PM Pavel Filip promised to raise the compensations for the veterans of the war for independence, while President Dodon proposed a day before a platform of reconciliation with Transnistria.

Moldovan peace-keepers

Moldovan peace-keepers

On the same day, a civil organization “Honor, Dignity, Motherland” (ODIP) protested in front of the building of the Russian Embassy with slogans like “Putin Vova, take your army from Moldova”, “Russia, do not forget- Moldova is not yours” and “Russian army go home” and fake blood poured on the pavement, presumably signifying the bloodshed made by Russian troops in the Transnistrian war.

A political solution to the Transnistrian conflict was never discussed since 1992. The separatist Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic still relies heavily on Russian financial aid, Russian market and natural gas from an economic point of view, and on Russian peace-keepers and the illegally stationed Operative Troops of Russia in terms of security.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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2018 World Press Freedom Index: Moldova down to position 81

2 May 2018- Reporters without Borders (RSF) published their 2018 index of freedom of the press around the world.

The ranking of 2018 places Moldova on the 81st place, 1 position down compared to 2017 (80) with a score of 30,41 (-0,40).

RSF did not change its position on the media ownership and polarization in Moldova:

Moldova’s media are diversified but extremely polarized, like the country itself, which is characterized by chronic instability and the excessive influence of its oligarchs. The editorial line of the leading media outlets correlates closely with the political and business interests of their owners. Journalistic independence and media ownership transparency are major challenges. As media outlets battle with each other in a climate exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis, the broadcasting regulatory authority’s lack of independence and excesses in the “fight against propaganda” continue to be a source of concern.

Romania was ranked 44th with 23,65 points, Ukraine 101st with 31,16 points, while Russia 148th with 49,96 points.

According to RSF, the freest media can be found in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland. The countries with the worst media freedom ranking are Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

The RSF underlines in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index that the global situation of the press is worsening, especially in Europe:

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The entry procedure on the left bank of the Nistru River will be simplified

The leader of the self-proclaimed Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselski, signed an order establishing simplified control procedures at the entrance to the region. The decision comes in the context of winter holidays. The simplified procedures will be valid for the period December 30 – January 15, IPN reports on the regional press.

Krasnoselski also wanted to temporarily open additional ways of crossing the means of transport with passengers through the following points: Valea Adâncă-Zagnitkov, Ploti-Krutîe, Vinogradnoe-Novîi Butorî, Gruşca-Nemirovka, Krasnî Oktiabri-Vetrujeni, Raşcov-Vadul -Rascov, Ţîbulevka-Ţehanovka, Teia-Calfa.

Passengers, citizens of Ukraine and of the Republic of Moldova, will present the identity document or the document confirming the residence visa in one of the neighboring localities. Also, at all checkpoints, a simplified regime of goods verification will be applied during this period, except for those that are forbidden in the Transnistrian region.

Source: IPN

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Chișinău and Tiraspol sign protocols to solve issues of Latin script schools, telecommunication, diploma recognition and land ownership

On November 25th, the political negotiators of the Republic of Moldova and the separatist Transnistrian administration met in Bender to discuss technical issues ahead of the upcoming 5+2 negotiations in Vienna.

Accompanied by 5+2 mediators and observers, Reintegration Minister George Balan and the so-called “foreign minister” Vitalyi Ignatiev signed 4 protocols elaborated at the expert groups level. The protocols focus on 4 key issues:

  • Recognition of diplomas issued by education institutions in the Transnistrian region– the parties agreed to Chișinău accepting (apostillation) a neutral diploma issued in Transnistria;
  • Elimination of barriers in the telecommunication domain- establishing a direct connection of fixed and the mobile telephone network, as well as internet, after the negotiations between operators on both banks of Nistru river;
  • Elimination of barriers to the functioning of Romanian language (Latin script) schools in Transnistria- setting minimal rent and utility prices for the buildings rented out to these schools, setting 10 years as the minimal rent period for the buildings, providing the adjacent lands in use to the schools, providing conditions for free movement of teachers and pupils of these schools, but also the needed materials for their functioning;
  • Allowing farmers to use their lands across Tiraspol-Camenca road in Dubăsari district- applying the “2006 Mechanism” of distributing the lands to those persons owning them initially, stopping the use of lands by Transnistrian firms or persons (2014 distribution), stopping the penal cases against the latter by Chișinău.

Solutions to these problems are expected to be delivered by the joint expert groups.

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