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Moldova’s KFOR-7 started peacekeeping mission in Kosovo

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On June 8th, the sixth contingent of peacekeepers of Moldova’s National Army finished its six months long mission KFOR in Kosovo. Thus, KFOR-6 was replaced by 41 soldiers led by lieutenant colonel Andrei Țaranu- KFOR-7.

The authority transfer took place at the Multinational Camp Vilaggio in Pech, Kosovo. The Multinational Battle Group together with soldiers from Italy, Austria and Slovenia participated at the ceremony.

On June 9th, the soldiers of KFOR-6 were welcomed home and were awarded by the Defense Ministry and the Minister for Reintegration.

The KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo is the result of common efforts of the United Nations, the European Union and NATO to maintain the a peaceful environment in the region. Moldova’s National Army participates in peacekeeping in Kosovo since March 2014.

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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Moldova expels 3 Russian diplomats in solidarity with UK over Salisbury attack

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27 March 2018- Three employees of the Russian Embassy were declared personae non-gratae by the Moldovan Foreign Affairs Ministry. Russian Ambassador, H.E. Farit Muhametshin, was informed that the three diplomats must leave the territory of Moldova during the seven days, based on the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The decision comes from Moldova as a sign of solidarity with the United Kingdom and the 23-24 March 2018 European Council decisions which qualified the Salisbury nerve poison attack as a threat to the collective security and the international law.

The Russian Embassy criticised the decision of the Moldovan authorities, calling it an “unfriendly and unjustified act”:

“Taking into account the absurdity of the accusations against the mentioned persons, we consider this outcome as an unjustified and unfriendly step. Following, of course, the so-called “European solidarity”, Chișinău acts to the detriment of politeness and own interests, putting in doubt the sincerity of the recent statements on the willing to normalise the Russian-Moldovan relations. Russia’s response should be awaited”, reads a declaration of the Embassy.

In 2017, five employees of the Russian Embassy were declared non-gratae in Moldova, following a spy scandal.

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Reintegration

Foreign Minister Ulianovschi to Russia’s Vice-FM Karasin: Withdrawal of Russian troops- major point in advancing Transnistrian settlement

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20 March 2018- In his first day of the visit to Moldova, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, met the Moldovan Foreign Minister, Tudor Ulianovschi.

The officials discussed the current (rather bad) state of the bilateral relations and stated their countries’ positions and solutions.

Ulianovschi informed Karasin that the Ambassador Andrei Neguță is sent back to Moscow, after the recall caused by invoked cases of intimidation of Moldovan officials by Russian authorities. The Moldovan Minister pointed out to the necessity of intensifying the cooperation in the case of the (Russian) “Laundromat” made through the Moldovan banks but also expressed readiness to resume negotiations on agreements on migrating labour force and illegal migration.

Speaking about the Transnistrian conflict settlement, Ulianovschi declared that the withdrawal of the Russian troops and munitions could be a significant point in advancing the process of resolving the conflict, IPN reports.

On the other side, Karasin stated that the sides agreed to intensify the cooperation pace and that the process of Transnistrian conflict settlement should be stepped up.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister later met with President Igor Dodon.

Karasin is scheduled to conduct a visit in the Transnistrian region as well.

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Resolution on “enhanced relations”, support for Moldova’s territorial integrity registered with the US Congress

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20 February 2018- North Carolina’s Representative David Price and Texas’ Peter Olson registered Resolution Nr. 745 in the United States House of Representatives, with reference to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The resolution titled “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to enhanced relations with the Republic of Moldova and support for Moldova’s territorial integrity” acknowledges the “stable and positive relations” between Moldova and US, the need to implement reforms and fight corruption in Moldova, the Association Agreement with the EU, the European aspirations. Moreover, the authors give special attention to Russia’s embargo on Moldovan wine and fruits, as well as Russia’s military and political presence in the Transnistrian region.

The resolution reaffirms the US support for Moldova’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Moldova, calling on Russia to withdraw its military forces and munitions from within the internationally recognized territory of Moldova but also to refrain from issuing economic threats or exerting pressure against Moldova and to cease any and all actions that support separatist movements within the territory of Moldova.

Interestingly enough, one of the authors of the resolution, Republican Pete Olson, met with the chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vlad Plahotniuc, less than a month ago:

Picture of US Congressman Peter Olson and Democratic chairman Vlad Plahotniuc, with Moldova’s Parliament Speaker and Deputy PM, Source: Vlad Plahotniuc

According to the given resolution, the US House of Representatives:

(1) reaffirms that it is the policy of the United States to support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Moldova and the inviolability of its borders by other countries;
(2) supports the Strategic Dialogue as a means to strengthen relations between Moldova and the United States and enhance the democratic, economic, governance, and security reforms already being undertaken by Moldova;
(3) encourages the President, the Secretary of State, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, to enhance United States partnerships with the Government, private sector, and civil society of Moldova and to focus United States assistance on supporting reforms that strengthen the justice sector, bolster democratic institutions, promote an open and transparent government, foster indigenous independent media and an open information environment, diversify energy supplies, increase energy security, and promote inclusive economic growth by focusing on the rural areas beyond the capital, enhancing investment opportunities, and increasing trade and job creation;
(4) encourages Moldova to continue implementing crucial reforms to ensure good governance, increase the capacity of and trust in democratic institutions, and strengthen the justice sector through anti-corruption efforts, transparency, tolerance, support for the rule of law, and maintaining open space for civil society to operate;
(5) reaffirms the importance of and support for free, fair, and transparent elections in Moldova;
(6) encourages the President to expedite the implementation of Public Law 113–96, especially for populations in Ukraine and Moldova;
(7) supports efforts to counter disinformation campaigns in Eastern Europe in ways that are consistent with democratic principles;
(8) affirms Moldova’s sovereign right to determine its own partnerships free of external coercion and pressure, and affirms Moldova’s right to associate with the European Union or any regional organization;
(9) calls upon the Government of the Russian Federation to fulfill its commitments made at the Istanbul summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1999 and to withdraw its military forces and munitions from within the internationally recognized territory of Moldova;
(10) calls upon the Government of the Russian Federation to refrain from issuing economic threats or exerting pressure against Moldova and to cease any and all actions that support separatist movements within the territory of Moldova;
(11) supports a results-oriented 5+2 negotiations process as the only channel for resolving the territorial conflict between the Government of Moldova and the leadership of the Transnistria region;
(12) supports efforts to resolve the Transnistria issue through a comprehensive settlement that secures Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while providing a special status for the Trans­nis­tri­an region within Moldova;
(13) urges all parties to refrain from unilateral actions that may undermine efforts to achieve a peace­ful resolution or jeopardize agreements already reached, and encourages leaders of the Transnistrian region and the Moldovan Government to continue negotiations toward a political settlement; and
(14) affirms that lasting stability and security in Moldova is a key priority for the United States and that these can only be achieved if the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova and all other European countries are respected.
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