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22 voting centers to be opened in Transnistria for the elections of Russian Duma

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The Russian Federation will open 22 voting centers in Transnistria for the elections of State Duma on September 18th, reports Ria.ru. The announcement was made on July 19th by the head of the local Electoral Commission of the republic, Elena Gorodetskaia, after meeting the Russian Duma deputy Artyom Turov.

Accordingly, 9 voting centers will be opened in the so-called capital Tiraspol, 5 in Bender, 2 in Râbnița, 2 in Dubăsari, 1 in Grigoriopol, Dnestrovsk, Camenca and Slobozia. Two centers from Tiraspol and Bender would be opened only for the Russian Operative Group troops and the Russian peace-keepers.

Gorodetskaia stressed that there are more than 180 thousand people with a Russian citizenship and a right to vote in the Russian elections for State Duma.

The Government of Moldova didn’t comment on the statements made by Gorodetskaia and Turov.

In the 2011 Duma elections, 25 voting centers were opened in Moldova, out of which 24 were opened in Transnistria. 52 thousand people voted, out of which some 75% voted for the ruling party “Edinaia Rossia”.

People from Transnistria can receive the Russian citizenship by proving that they or their close relatives lived in the Soviet Union, the legal predecessor of the Russian Federation.

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Reintegration

Coronavirus in Transnistria: blocked roads, self-isolation, restricted access to banking services and medicines are still on

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The state of emergency in Transnistria was declared on March 17, being extended twice. The last decision said it would last until June 15INFOTAG News Agency informed.

About 2 weeks ago, some restrictions began to be lifted in the region – shopping malls, construction markets and grocery stores were reopened. Thus, a record number of COVID-19 reported cases followed, the total number of confirmed cases reaching 1003, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection of Moldova (MHLSP).

One of the biggest contagion epicentres is located at the psycho-neurological boarding school from Bender – more than 160 people were infected there.

No transport available

In the context of the pandemic crisis, an imperative transportation problem was discussed by the Moldovan and Transnistrian officials: the residents of 4 villages from the left bank of the Dniester have to use a ferry in order to reach the other side. That is because the road, connecting the rural areas with the mainland Moldova, runs through a Transnistrian territory that has been blocked by illegal border checkpoints and barriers installed by separatists.

See also: A not working peacekeeping mechanism? When the Moldovan side requests, the Transnistrian one refuses

“A separate topic of discussion was the situation of the Moldovan villages of Molovata Noua, Vasilievca, Cocieri and Roghi on the left (eastern) bank of the Dniester River. They have found themselves isolated from the Republic of Moldova after the Transnistrian authorities introduced a state of emergency in the region,” announced President Igor Dodon after he lately met with the head of Dubasari district, Grigore Filipov.

It was decided that the ferry will make additional daily trips to meet the needs of the population and economic agents from the region, as a temporary solution.

Moldova’s Special Representative for Transnistria negotiations, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, Cristina Lesnic, believes that the nature of the dialog between Chisinau and Tiraspol has changed during the pandemic period.

“After the beginning of the pandemic crisis and the state of emergency declaration in Moldova, the region was isolated. The Moldovan authorities’ decisions should apply to the entire territory, but Transnistria has adopted its own measures. […] The self-isolation of the Transnistrian region on the pretext of the pandemic began in mid-April, and now it is extended till June 15. The situation is connected to a restricted access both for the economic agents and officials from Moldova. Let me remind you that there are 320 thousand Moldovans living in the region, who are deprived of access to services on the right bank of the Dniester.”

In a meeting with foreign diplomats and international organisation representatives accredited in Moldova, Cristina Lesnic talked about the  anti-crisis management possibilities created for businesses and the population of Transnistria since the beginning of the state of emergency, including facilitating the import of medicines and foodstuffs into the Transnistrian region, as well as returning home of Transnistrian residents from foreign countries.

Source: gov.md

On the other hand, more accusations against Moldovan authorities arrived, referring to the fact that the Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration would not be willing to help to repatriate the inhabitants of the separatist region. That is while the legal public authorities of Moldova are the only ones entitled to negotiate the organisation of international passenger transport with the authorities of foreign states, according to the Bureau for Reintegration Policies from Moldova.

No banking services

Another issue discussed during the common meetings is the access of the population of Transnistria to banking services: in case people from the region are clients of a Moldovan or international bank, they can’t withdraw money from the ATMs located on the Transnistrian territory, as well as they can’t use their credit cards to pay products and services in Transnistrian rubles.

While Transnistrian news portals blamed the Moldovan authorities of blocking the possibility to pay using international card on the Transnistrian territory, officials from Chisinau gave assurances that no discriminatory or exaggerated approaches are applied to the bank customers from the Transnistrian region. The National Bank of Moldova specified that payments using MasterCard and Visa cards in Transnistria are possible, but only if payments are made through the POS terminals of banks licensed in Moldova. As the local currency (Transnistrian rubles) is not internationally recognised, it was proposed to use the Moldovan leu as a mean of cash payment.

(Almost) no financial support

About 450 individual entrepreneurs from Dubasari district will receive financial compensation from the Transnistrian authorities, in order to overcome the negative consequences of the pandemic crisis. The total budget for compensation amounts 182 500 Transnistrian rubles (about 10 140 euros). When divided to 450 companies that should receive financial support, it turns out that each company will receive about 23 euros for two months in which they stopped their activity.

Photo: BIRN

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Reintegration

A not working peacekeeping mechanism? When the Moldovan side requests, the Transnistrian one refuses

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During the state of emergency in the Republic of Moldova, Chisinau authorities requested, for several times, the assistance of the OSCE Mission in monitoring the Security Zone and fixing the appeared violations, as well as their further investigation, according to a press release of the Bureau for Reintegration Policies from Moldova.

On May 20, a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, Cristina Lesnic, and Head of the OSCE Mission to the Republic of Moldova, Claus Neukirch, took place. There, security incidents were discussed.

Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration officially requested the presentation of an incidents’ list that were found by the OSCE, related to the illegal installation of border checkpoints by the Transnistrian side between March 16 and May 19. The incidents’ evaluation wasn’t possible to be made before, due to the fact that the departure of military observers has been prevented during the state of emergency.

“Chisinau insists on lifting the illegally installed border checkpoints, which restrict free movement and violate the commitments made in the Unified Control Commission, as well as those related to ensuring peace and the rule of law in the region. The peacekeeping mechanism must be operational,” is also mentioned in the press release.

Source: gov.md

The illegal border checkpoints and barriers around the border localities,  as well as blocking the attempts of military observers from the Joint Peacekeeping Forces to regularly record the violations, were addressed in a meeting of Unified Control Commission on May 14. The meeting took place in Bender and was chaired by the head of the Delegation of the Republic of Moldova.

“It was pointed out that the abusive actions of the Transnistrian side affected the citizens’ rights to free movement, medical care, property and, as a consequence, generated tension in the Security Zone,” the officials noted. However, no consensus was reached at that meeting between the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides.

After declaring a state of emergency on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, the Unified Control Commission temporarily ceased its meetings in the city of Bender, trying to convene the meetings remotely. During the same period, under the pretext of managing the state of emergency, the Transnistrian authorities installed several ‘checkpoints’ in the perimeter of the Security Zone (a buffer area between Moldova and Transnistria).

When Moldovan authorities tried to discuss the existing security issues by initiating video-conference meetings, held in the presence of representatives of Ukraine and the OSCE Mission, the Transnistrian side refused to participate.

Besides, Transnistrian officials refused to attend the meeting on the public healthcare subjects, requested in video conference format at the headquarters of the OSCE Mission to the Republic of Moldova. The last such refusal was expressed on May 19, when a working group was supposed to discuss a number of topics related to the management of the epidemiological situation in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian region, as the Bureau for Reintegration Policies reported.

Previously, the Moldovan Government called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to send a mission to the Transnistrian region, where respecting basic human rights, including the population’s access to medical services can’t be guaranteed by the authorities from Chisinau. The request was made after the OSCE informed that a 5 + 2 meeting to resolve the Transnistrian conflict, requested by Chisinau, wouldn’t be convened.

See also: Moldova’s authorities asked for sending a WHO mission in Transnistria after the OSCE informed that a 5+2 meeting won’t take place

Photo: unknown

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Important

(Update) Coronavirus: the State of Emergency will be replaced by a Public Health Emergency after May 15

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The State of Emergency in the Republic of Moldova is lifted on May 15. Starting tomorrow, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission will start its activity with declaring Code Red in the healthcare system or a so-called Public Health Emergency on the territory of the whole country. This was declared by President Igor Dodon after the meeting of the Supreme Security Council.

According to the president, all the responsibilities regarding COVID-19 restrictions necessary during the pandemic crisis will be handed over from the Commission for Emergency Situations to the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, which was newly created.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, Viorica Dumbraveanu, emphasised the need to maintain the same public health measures after May 15, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus infection and ensure the protection of citizens, as it is declared in a press release of the Minister of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP).

Prime Minister Ion Chicu announced that the state of Public Health Emergency could remain in force by June 30, as per the request of the National Public Health Agency. “It can be even shorter or longer. We will decide according to how the events evolve,” said the head of the executive. According to him, the new state of emergency concerns only decisions and actions taken in the healthcare industry.

According to the latest official decision of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, the Public Health Emergency is established for the period May 16 – June 30 and encloses restrictions concerning kindergartens that will open after June 30; the markets in Chisinau and Balti – after May 31; playgrounds and stadiums – after May 31; general, vocational and university education institutions – after June 30; forests, parks, alleys, beaches for groups of more than 3 persons – after June 30; shopping centres – after June 30 (except groceries and pharmaceuticals units located in the same building), barber shops and dental offices – after May 16, outpatient medical activities – May 16.

At the same time, it is mandatory to wear protective masks in indoor public places.

The restrictions regarding regular flights, regular passenger air charters, international rail routes, regular, special and occasional road transport of passengers are still maintained until June 30, with gradual relaunch depending on the epidemiological situation.

The access of foreign citizens and stateless persons is forbidden on the territory of Moldova until June 30, with the following exceptions:

  • family members of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova;
  • persons holding a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to a residence permit issued by the authorities;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • passengers in transit, including those who are repatriated.

Persons who enter the Republic of Moldova during this period will have to fill in an epidemiological form, as well as a declaration on their own responsibility to comply with the self-isolation regime of 14 days in determined places. More decisions and provisions can be found here.

According to the most updated data provided by the MHLSP, there are 5553 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Moldova at the moment, including 2228 cases of people who recovered and 194 cases of death. On March 14, there were 147 newly confirmed cases, while the record number of new cases (252) was recorded just 2 days ago, on May 13.

Photo: Romania Insider

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