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Ukraine’s border police arrests two Transnistrian “policemen” attempting to kidnap Odesa man

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Source: trueUA

12 February 2018- The Ukrainian border police of the Belgorod-Dnestrovsk segment arrested two “policemen” of Transnistria attempting to kidnap a Ukrainian citizen to the separatist region avoiding the checkpoint, reports TrueUA.

Initially, the “Kuchurgan” segment border police noticed two persons trying to pull another person nearby the “Kuchurgan” border checkpoint. The kidnapped person proved to be a male Ukrainian citizen from the city of Odesa.

The suspects are investigated for an attempt of kidnapping.

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

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Security

60 Moldovan soldiers are participating in Platinum Eagle 18.1 military exercise in Romania

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Source: Army.md, Dumitru Vosimeric

11 February 2018- A contingent of soldiers of Moldova’s National Army is participating during February 11-17th at the international exercise “Platinum Eagle 18.1”, held at Babadag Training Centre, Romania.

60 officers, sub-officers, sergeants and soldiers from the Motorized Infantry Brigade “Dacia” (Cahul) and the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion (Chișinău) will engage into training together with troops from Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine and the USA. Moldova is going to Platinum Eagle 18.1 with 12 HMMWVs and other military equipment.

The goal of the exercise is to increase the interoperability between the participant troops, maintaining the capacity of joint training, preparing for peacekeeping missions, as well as developing a regional environment favorable for military cooperation. The Moldovan troops will take part in an international group, led by American troops, and will conduct shootings, command procedures and subunit control.

In 2017, Moldova’s President Igor Dodon blocked the participation of the Moldovan National Army in Platinum Eagle 17.1. 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.

In 2018, Platinum Eagle unites approximately 300 soldiers from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and the United States, as part as the Black Sea Rotational Force 18 multinational exercise.

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Reintegration

Tiraspol refuses to withdraw its “checkpoints” near Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge, rejects idea of Russia-Ukraine-OSCE observers

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8 February 2018- Another meeting of the Joint Control Commission concluded with another conflict caused by the Transnistrian separatist delegation on the topic of Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge.

As the press release of the Moldova delegation reads, the Transnistrian delegation led by Oleg Belyakov refused to discuss the monitoring of the bridge and the Transnistrian “border police” checkpoints nearby by the neutral parties in the peacekeeping mission: the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the OSCE. Previously, the Moldovan delegation was trying to get support for the withdrawal of the Transnistrian checkpoints in favor of the “free movement” principle.

Despite unanimous support formulated by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, OSCE, and Moldova, the proposal was rejected only by the delegation from Tiraspol. The rulebook of the Joint Control Commission from 8 April 2003 stipulates that the decisions need to be made on the basis of consensus.

The Transnistrian media quotes Belyakov, who says that “the Moldovan party is not ready for resolving practical issues” linked to the infrastructure adjacent to the Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge. According to Belyakov, changes in the peacekeeping mission, such as the replacement of military forces by neutral observers, are inadmissible today by Transnistria.

Reopened only in November 2017, Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge over Nistru river was blown up by the Transnistrian separatist forces in 1992, then reconstructed in 2000 with the European financial support (30 million lei), but could not be inaugurated due to political misunderstandings between Chișinău and Tiraspol.

The bridge is currently in the competence of the Joint Control Commission, who controls the peacekeeping troops in the neighboring area.

In the opening protocol, Chișinău and Tiraspol committed to not use Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge for military goals and offered the Joint Control Commission the authority to open the bridge. However, it appears that the separatist authorities ignore the principle of free movement of people and goods between the two banks. The Transnistrian authorities apparently already activated a customs control checkpoint in Bîcioc which most probably obstructs the free movement. Krasnoselsky himself with his prime-minister Alexandr Martynov visited the checkpoint after the inauguration of the bridge.

Note: The Joint Control Commission ( Russian: Объединенная контрольная комиссия – ОКК, Romanian- Comisia Unificată de Control) is a trilateral peacekeeping force and joint military command structure from Moldova, Transnistria, and Russia, which operates in a buffer zone on the border between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

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Reintegration

Operative Group of Russian Troops conducted another shooting exercise in Transnistria

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1 February 2018 – The Operative Group of Russian troops illegally stationing in the Transnistrian region of Moldova conducted another exercise with the use of the high-caliber guns.

The Russian soldiers, primarily from the teams of the armored vehicles and BRDM-2 (БРДМ-2), practiced their shooting skills by shooting from tank-type Kalashnikov (ПКТ) and high-caliber Vladimir (КПВТ) guns. The soldiers had to shoot at targets located at distances between 300 to 1000 meters. According to the press-release of Russia’s Defense Ministry, the exercise was part of the planned set of exercises for training the troops of the Western Military District.

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

Besides the 402 so-called 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.

The Republic of Moldova addressed the United Nations with the request to include the issue of the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from Transnistria to the agenda of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. In a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru stated that the presence of Russian troops “constitutes a danger to the maintenance of international peace and security.” The subject was due to be discussed in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 23 October but then was delayed by the Moldovan Representative to the UN.

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