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Reintegration

Transnistria leader Vadim Krasnoselsky complains to EU Delegation about Cuciurgan joint checkpoint

On March 27th, the Regional Director of the European External Action Service, Thomas Mayr-Harting, together with the head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, Pirkka Tapiola, visited the breakaway Transnistria.

The European officials met and discussed with region’s foreign minister Vitaly Ignatiev and so-called president of the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic (PMR) Vadim Krasnoselsky.

According to the press-release of Transnistria’s foreign ministry, Mayr-Harting and Tapiola were informed about the opposition of PMR towards the opening of the joint checkpoint “Cuciurgan-Pervomaisk” by Ukraine and Moldova. Minister Ignatiev complained that the joint control, tangent to Transnistria’s border, does not have any advantages in terms of economy or freedom of movement. Ignatiev would have said the joint control as only bringing negative consequences or even issues of security in form of an escalation of tension. Moreover, all the EU foreign ministries, including EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, would have received complaints about the organization of joint control by Moldova and Ukraine.

At another meeting, the European diplomats had to encounter a similar complaint from the separatist leader Vadim Krasnoselsky. He reportedly expressed his regret that the question of the Cuciurgan checkpoint could not be included in the 5+2 dialogue format at the request of one party- Transnistria.

On March 28th, the issue of Cuciurgan checkpoint was also discussed between the economic working groups of Chișinău and Tiraspol authorities. The Transnistrians repeated their call against the joint checkpoint at the border with Ukraine, asking for alternative solutions to avoid risks.

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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Reintegration

4 military columns moved unannounced on Dubăsari-Grigoriopol-Tiraspol road, ignoring peacekeeping observers

Photo of the military column from last week

23 June 2018- Another serious violation was committed in the Security Zone.

In the morning of June 23rd, at 4 o’clock in the morning, at 6.30, 11.15, and 13.15 in the afternoon, four columns of military vehicles were spotted moving unannounced on the Dubăsari-Grigoriopol-Tiraspol road.

According to the press-release of the Moldovan delegation to the Joint Control Commission, approximately 11 TAB and 25 trucks (URAL, ZIL, UAZ) were moving on the road without any symbols of belonging to either the OGRT or the peacekeeping mission, with number plates missing. Moreover, the columns were accompanied by the Transnistrian “special police forces”.

The Moldovan delegation managed to gather military observers from all the peacekeeping parties around 5.30 in the Dubăsari and Grigoriopol districts (close to the Dubăsari bridge and Doroțcaia, Mălăiești villages) to document the incident. At 6.20, the OSCE Mission representatives spotted 4 URAL trucks and a military vehicle unit, observed later in Mălăiești village at 7.15.

When asked to stop, the military vehicles reportedly did not react in any way.

Previously, the Russian representatives claimed that the three military columns that moved towards the Colbasna munition deposit last week had the goal to increase security at the munition deposit in Colbasna in the wake of possible “terrorist acts and provocative actions” during the World Cup.

Contacted by Deschide.md, Moldova’s Reintegration Minister, Cristina Lesnic told that Chișinău asked OSCE to clarify what kind of vehicles were spotted, what they were transporting.


Besides the 441 “peacekeepers”, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them, and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims.

In 2017 and the start of 2018, experts have seen a significant increase in OGRT’s military activity.

On 22 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by a simple majority Moldova’s resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”. The resolution calls on the UN Member States to urge the Russian Federation to “complete orderly, unconditionally and without further delay the withdrawal of the Russian Operational Group of Russian Forces” (more commonly known as OGRT or OGRV), in accordance to its commitment agreed at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, but also the UN Charter.

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Reintegration

Russia claims movement of 3 military columns in Security Zone had the goal to secure Colbasna munitions deposit

21 June 2018- The Joint Control Commission could not approve the weekly security report because none could have had been agreed upon by representatives of Russia, Moldova, Tiraspol administration, and Ukraine.

According to Moldova’s Bureau of Reintegration, the main issue of disagreement was attaching the video proof to the report on the movement of three military columns of Russian vehicles (belonging to OGRT).

Three columns of military vehicles were reported to be moving on the Tiraspol-Râbnița road in the Transnistrian region of Moldova in the morning of June 14th.

Some 40 TABs, DRDMs, URALs, ZILs, KAMAZes, and UAZes, accompanied by Transnistrian “police” were spotted on their way to the north of the region- most probably, to the Colbasna military depot.

The delegation of the Russian Federation told the JCC that the military columns had the goal to increase security at the munition deposit in Colbasna (some 21 thousand tons of munitions are still stored there since Soviet times) in the wake of possible “terrorist acts and provocative actions” during the World Cup. Ilya Uvarov, head of the delegation, claimed that the OGRT acted consequently and without prejudice to the peacekeeping mission:

“In regard to increasing the security measures at the deposits in the locality of Colbasna, a decision was taken to, in an urgent manner, increase the guard of this object”, said Uvarov, quoted by Transnistrian press.

The Ukrainian delegation expressed its “deep concern” in regard to the unauthorized movement of the military columns, but also about the fact that the JCC was not informed about risks of terrorist acts. OSCE Mission representatives asked the Russian delegation to ensure the return of the military units at their deployment place.

In an almost quotable statement to NovostiPMR, the Transnistrian representative Oleg Belyakov underlined that the Russian Federation should not be under the control of the peacekeeping mission because it is a “guarantee-state” in the conflict settlement:

“We perfectly know that the Russian Federation is not under the control from the behalf of the peacekeeping operation because it is the guarantee-state in the settlement. The control is solely for the Moldovan and Transnistrian military units, which can appear in the Security Area”, said Belyakov.


Besides the 441 “peacekeepers”, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them, and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims.

In 2017 and the start of 2018, experts have seen a significant increase in OGRT’s military activity.

On 22 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by a simple majority Moldova’s resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”. The resolution calls on the UN Member States to urge the Russian Federation to “complete orderly, unconditionally and without further delay the withdrawal of the Russian Operational Group of Russian Forces” (more commonly known as OGRT or OGRV), in accordance to its commitment agreed at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, but also the UN Charter.

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Reintegration

UN General Assembly adopts Moldova’s resolution on withdrawal of “foreign military forces” from its territory

22 June 2018- The United Nations General Assembly adopted by a simple majority Moldova’s resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”.

The document was co-sponsored by Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom.

The resolution calls on the UN Member States to urge the Russian Federation to “complete orderly, unconditionally and without further delay the withdrawal of the Russian Operational Group of Russian Forces” (more commonly known as OGRT or OGRV), in accordance to its commitment agreed at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, but also the UN Charter.

The Russian Federation delegate proposed a motion to take no action on Moldova’s resolution, because it would need consultations, claiming that the document was sent very late to the Secretariat contrary to the transparency principle. The Russian request was rejected.

Put to vote, the resolution was adopted with a simple majority of 64 votes in favor, 15 against, and 83 abstentions.

This is how UN member states voted on Moldova’s resolution:

The revised draft resolution was submitted in the following shape:

Previously, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the person of Vice-Minister Grigory Karasin, has called Moldova’s resolution “counterproductive” and “provocative”, that would mess the peaceful development of the Transnistrian issue settlement. Transnistria’s “foreign minister”, Vitaly Ignatiev, has told NovostiPMR that the “destructive” resolution is directly threatening the peacekeeping operation by withdrawing the Russian peacekeepers.


Besides the 441 peacekeepers, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them, and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims. Russian authorities hold the belief that the Group is an essential part of the peacekeeping operation.

In 2017 and the start of 2018, experts have seen a significant increase in OGRT’s military activity.

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