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Maia Sandu urges Tiraspol to lift the travel ban for officials of the Republic of Moldova

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Prime Minister Maia Sandu had a meeting with representatives of the mediators and observers in the “3+2” negotiation format. The discussions focused on the evaluation of the current stage of the Transnistrian settlement process.

Maia Sandu requested assistance from the “3+2” representatives in determining the Transnistrian party to eliminate in the near future the ban on traveling to the left bank for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to a government communiqué, the prime minister stressed that the “5+2” negotiation format for the Transnistrian settlement should become a platform to help fight corruption and smuggling.

“We have also discussed this in Kiev and I am glad that we have the same position in relation to this issue. The fight against corruption and smuggling in the Transnistrian region must be a priority. We will ensure that both state institutions and government officials will no longer be involved in corruption and smuggling schemes with Tiraspol, as it had happened in the past. As long as the Transnistrian region will be a major source of illegal enrichment for some people, there will be no real progress in identifying a political solution.”

In this context, Maia Sandu mentioned the need to prolong the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).

The head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch, reiterated that securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with a special status for the Transnistrian region, is the key factor in the mission’s work, but also the main goal of the “5+2” format.

Politics

The effect of Russia’s constitutional changes on the Transnistrian region

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A nationwide referendum is held in the Russian Federation between June 25 and July 1 in order to amend the constitution of the country.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to vote during several days was provided. The voting process is held outside and, in addition, contactless voting at home, electronic voting and voting using the Mobile Voter mechanism are available.

In the Transnistrian region, voting was allowed for three days, from June 28-30, the whole process being organised under similar conditions as in Russia, the Tass News Agency announced.

According to a survey conducted at 800 Russian polling stations from June 25 to June 28, the majority of voters opted for the amendments, 23.6% opposed them and 0.4% invalidated the ballot paper,

Beside the amendment offering the possibility of prolonging the presidential term of Vladimir Putin (until 2036 instead of 2024), there are a a few controversial amendments to the Russian fundamental law.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russian federal territories

One of the most important articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation that could be amended is article no. 67,  which provides for creation of federal territories in Russia and introduction of the expression “subjects of the Russian Federation”.

“By making this change, Putin wants to make sure that certain federal subjects do not leave the Russian Federation, such as Chechnya, Tatarstan or Crimea, the latter being illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. The territory of the Republic of Moldova doesn’t belong to  the Russian Federation. However, taking into consideration the priorities that President Dodon and socialist have, one could draw a parallel.

During the propagandist Moscow parade, Putin mentioned in his speech that all neighbours ‘are part of the Russian world’. Moldova, according to Vladimir Putin, is part of his strategic interest. The fact that 11% of the Moldova’s territory is hosting occupation troops proves it one more time,” said security policy expert Rosian Vasiloi.

Previously, President Igor Dodon claimed that federalisation is the only solution to solving conflicts in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian one.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russia as the legal successor to the Soviet Union

In the same article, a paragraph was introduced, saying that the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Soviet Union. Another amending paragraph states that the Russian Federation honours the memory of the “Fatherland’s defenders” and ensures the protection of historical truth. “The diminution of the importance of the act of heroism in the defence of the Fatherland is not allowed.”

Historian Andrei Cusco mentioned that the victory in World War II is a myth that represented the main pillar of the regime’s ideology after Putin came to power in 2000. “Russia has taken certain moments from the Soviet communist narrative and reinterpreted them to serve the interests and visions of the current regime,” Cusco said.

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prohibits the dissemination of information that expresses a clear disrespect regarding the days of military glory and memorable dates in Russia related to the defence of the Fatherland, as Meduza informed.

A good example is the reaction of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova to the TVR Moldova declaration that June 22, 1941 was the day when Romania entered the World War II to liberate the Russian-occupied lands in the summer of 1940. “For Romanians, this date went down in history as the day of starting the fight for the reunification of the nation. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, is not of the same opinion, as he stated that today is the day when the occupation of Bessarabia began,” it is said in the article.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation qualified the material as “uncivilised and extremely dangerous, because it justifies the war criminals.”

“Such tricks offend most Russian citizens who remember the common heroism of the Red Army that saved Europe from the Nazi plague.”

The perfect Russian child

One more completion to the constitution refers to children education, namely patriotism, citizenship and respect for the elderly.

The same approach existed during the USSR, when the principles of a very cultured man were considered love for the socialist homeland, friendship, companionship, humanity, honour, love for socialist work, etc.

 Marriage of a man and a woman

Another newly introduced amendment provides for the protection of the family, maternity, paternity and childhood, defending the institution of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, creating the conditions for a decent upbringing of children in a family, as well as for the fulfilment of the obligation to take care of parents.

Yet, another video promoting the amendment of the constitution promotes homophobia as well.

Crime against Russians

The Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner believes that the way of voting the amendments is not democratic. “There are many proposed amendments. Among them, there are those that I would be willing to support, but there are those that I am against of. Unfortunately, everything is organized in such a way, that either you order the entire dinner or none of the dishes,” he said.

Liubov Sobol, a Russian politician and lawyer at the Anticorruption Foundation, claimed that resetting Putin’s mandates to zero is a crime against Russians. “20 years were enough to implement all the reforms needed for our country. We saw that Putin failed. Corruption is flourishing in the country, we have a low level of education. There must be a change of power, and all eligible candidates must be allowed to run for president. People have to make a choice.”

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photo: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

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Reintegration

The OSCE representative: “Earlier gains in the [Transnistrian] settlement process must not be lost.”

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Last week, several discussions were held between Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transnistrian Settlement Process, Thomas Mayr Harting, Moldova’s Special Representative for Transnistria negotiations, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, Cristina Lesnic, the Transnistrian leader Vadim Krasnoselsky, as well as other officials from Moldova and the Transnistrian region.

Thomas Mayr Harting paid a visit both to Moldova and Transnistria in order to document the situation regarding the “Berlin-plus” Package, the challenges of the pandemic situation, the dynamics of the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol, the press release of the Government of the Republic of Moldova informed.

Also, the progress regarding such issues as freedom of movement (blocking the administrative border), transportation problems, functioning of Transnistrian schools with teaching in Romanian, forced enlistment in paramilitary structures in the Transnistrian region, human rights as well as limited access to fair justice, medical care and banking services of the Moldovan citizens living on the left bank of the Dniester were discussed.

Source: gov.md

Moldovan officials have reiterated their concerns regarding the illegally installed border checkpoint in the Security Zone, as well as raised new concerns about the rules imposed by Tiraspol on entering and leaving the region, which were extended until September 30. The OSCE special representative underlined the fact that the officials from Tiraspol promised to remove the border checkpoints, installed as a “temporary measure”, as soon as the COVID-19 situation is under control. Especially, he stressed the need to facilitate the access of farmers to their lands and commuters to their places of work even during the pandemic, is mentioned in a press release of the OSCE.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova announced recently that a group of children from the Transnistrian region were recruited in a youth military organisation of Russian troops stationed on the Transnistrian territory. “It is a violation of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and permanent neutrality of the Republic of Moldova and is incompatible with the norms of international law,” is claimed in the Ministry’s press release cited by NewsMaker.

Source: Transnistrian Presidential Press Service

On the other hand, the Transnistrian side reminded about unresolved issues and unfulfilled agreements, the number of which is growing, expressing its readiness to discuss with European diplomats every item on the current agenda, as the Transnistrian media wrote.

Among the short-term issues to be prioritised are the finalisation of the telecommunication agreement and an improved internal banking connectivity in Transnistria, as the OSCE representatives informed. “The visit also provided an opportunity for Ambassador Mayr-Harting to exchange views on the negotiations process with the resident mediators and observers in the Transnistrian settlement process,” is stated in the press release of the organisation.

Source: gov.md

Special Representative of the OSCE called on the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides to formulate coordinated responses to all matters related to the settlement process in the context of the pandemic, bearing in mind interests of the people on both banks.

According to a Promo-LEX report, about 400 000 inhabitants of Transnistria, of which over 330 000 are citizens of the Republic of Moldova, lack effective guarantees or tools to protect their rights, such as the right to liberty and security, the right to not be subjected to torture and ill-treatment, freedom of expression and association, freedom of movement, the right to education, the right to property, etc.

“Still this region remains closed and inaccessible to human rights monitoring institutions or missions.”

The authors of the report noted that the authorities of the Russian Federation continue to influence events in the Transnistrian territory, due to the unconditional political, military and economic support offered to the Tiraspol administration, contrary to bilateral and international commitments and especially Russia’s status as a mediator in the Transnistrian problem settlement process.

Photo: gov.md

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Politics

75 Moldovan soldiers will participate in Moscow’s parade. The WHO warned about the taken risks

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75 soldiers from the Honour Guard Company of the Moldovan National Army were sent to Moscow on June 14 in order to participate to the military parade that will take place on the Red Square. The parade is scheduled for June 24, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II. The announcement was made by President Igor Dodon on the social media.

In his message, Dodon justified the participation of the Moldovan soldiers to the parade as following: “It is worth mentioning that the grandparents of 23 out of 75 soldiers participated in the WWII, so Moldova’s participation means not only a manifestation of solidarity with the countries with which we share a common history. but also a direct connection between generations, preserving the memory of the heroism of our ancestors,” said the president.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

However, beside the romanticism in the president’s message, there should be also pragmatism to the current situation, which Moldovan officials have forgotten about: Russia recorded a total of 569 063 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7 841 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the WHO data, there were reported 7 972 newly confirmed cases and 181 deaths on Jun 18 only.

Source: WHO

Under these conditions, such a mass event risks to become a cause of a new COVID-19 “exacerbated spread”, said the WHO representative, Catherine Smallwood, during a press conference on the current pandemic situation in Russia.

The Minister of Defence, Alexandru Pinzari, was supposed to offer explanations to the Parliament regarding the fact of sending 75 soldiers to Moscow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinzari didn’t show up to the meeting, stating that he was on his way to an outbreak area of the COVID-19 infection. “They are in strict quarantine conditions. I am confident that they will return healthy,” the minister declared, referring to the 75 Moldovan soldiers.

The parade to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II has been rescheduled for June 24 after a postponement caused by the pandemic. Usually, the parade is organised on May 9.

Photo: Facebook| Igor Dodon

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