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Dodon’s “undiplomatic” response to US, Romania Ambassadors on why he blocked Moldova’s participation in Platinum Eagle exercise

The President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, apparently did not inform in advance the Romanian authorities about his decision to block the participation of Moldovan soldiers in “Platinum Eagle” exercise at Smârdan, Romania. This can be deducted from the confidential letter sent jointly by the Romanian Ambassador in Moldova, Daniel Ioniță, and the US Ambassador, James D. Pettit, to the Moldovan Presidency, published by Independent.md.

In their letter, Ioniță and Pettit are expressing their concern about the “unfriendly attitude” shown by Dodon towards the “substance, engagement and contributions” of the USA and Romania to the consolidation of institutional capacity of Moldova. The Ambassadors stress that the decision to block the participation of the Moldovan Army at the joint exercise would not allow to ensure a necessary degree of training of the Moldovan troops, 80% dependable on the external acitivities.

Dodon responded in a less diplomatic way, claiming that the Presidency of Moldova does not accept comments from the exterior or any interference in its activity or the made decisions.

Referring to the Constitution, the sovereignty and independence of Moldova, Igor Dodon demands Ambassadors to “not give lessons to the President of the Republic of Moldova in the future, especially when it comes to his constitutional attributions and other domains”. Rather impolitely than sarcastically, Dodon doubts whether the states the Ambassadors represent would claim the same thing about things like the deployment of troops:

“I would like to see the reaction of the White House or Palatul Cotroceni to an eventual comment, like this one, of the the ambassadors of the Republic of Moldova at Washington or București”, says the Moldovan President.

In the end, he reiterates the idea that Moldova is a sovereign and independent state that pledges for good relations with absolutely all states of the world.

Dodon’s harsh response was criticized by his former Presidential counter-candidate, Maia Sandu, who declared that he damages the relations with the partners of Moldova:

“The correspondence of Dodon with the US and Romania ambassadors demonstrates how damaging can his ignorance and arrogance be for the national interests of the Republic of Moldova. A small country like ours can promote its interests at regional and international level only through a smart external policy, not by showing personal frustrations and lack of respect towards the partners of the country. Moreover, he deprived the Moldovan soldiers of the possibility to participate at exercises. The regime Plahotniuc-Dodon continues to suppress the state institutions and to discredit us on external plan”, says Sandu in a Facebook post.

Dodon motivated the refusal to allow deployment of troops to the joint exercise “Platinum Eagle 2017” with the lack of an approved Defense Minister (Anatol Șalaru was dismissed) and lack of arguments in favor of the participation.

„Platinum Eagle 17.1” (2017) brings together 500 troops from Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the USA and Ukraine during February 20-March 1.

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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