The special representative of Ukraine in the Transnistrian settlement, Ambassador Viktor Krivanovski, believes that the Russian Federation is interested in maintaining the status quo of the Transnistrian conflict. The statement was made in a forum dedicated to the Transnistrian issue, Ukrinform reports.
“There is no process in the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. It is important for Russia to keep this outbreak of tension in the region,” the diplomat said.
According to Krijanovski, by perpetuating this outbreak of tension, Russia is hindering the normal development of the region.
The diplomat added that Ukraine is doing everything in its power to regulate the situation, including the creation of joint control points on the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border.
Reminder: Ukraine, alongside the OSCE and Russia, is one of the mediators in the negotiation format on Transnistria 5 + 2. The US and the EU are observers. Chişinău and Tiraspol are direct negotiators.
A not working peacekeeping mechanism? When the Moldovan side requests, the Transnistrian one refuses
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.
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.
Promo-LEX raised a red flag regarding two critical issues in Transnistria – freedom of expression and medical assistance in prisons
Two more official messages addressed to the Moldovan authorities and international mediation organisations were published these days by the Promo-LEX association. The messages claimed that such fundamental rights as the right to life and the right to freedom of expression are violated in the Transnistrian region.
“Freedom of expression in the Transnistrian region involves a number of issues related to the existence of abusive local rules, as well as the intimidation of region’s inhabitants,” is mentioned in the press release of Promo-LEX that urged representatives of the 5 + 2 negotiating format to ensure freedom of expression in the Transnistrian region.
The association announced that, in recent weeks, a number of intimidation cases of people who have tried to publicly reveal their problems related to corruption and legal abuses were identified. In some cases, people were detained.
In such a way, the case of Mihail Ermurachi came to light – a 70-year-old pensioner from Tiraspol who was alleged of committing crimes against the Transnistrian state after a private discussion he had in September 2019 was recorded and handed over to the local police officers. The discussion contained his declarations regarding the denial of the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic as a state, as well as denial of the Transnistrian citizenship and qualification of the leader from Tiraspol as a “puppet and mercenary”. As a result, the old man could be sentenced to up to 11 years in jail.
“As the actions of local law enforcement institutions are unjustified and disproportionate to the acts committed, the Promo-LEX Association urges the competent authorities of the Republic of Moldova and representatives of the 5+2 negotiation format to closely monitor the trial, for not admitting an illegal conviction due to free expression of opinion,” is also stated in the press release.
At the same time, the dialogue between Tiraspol and Chisinau is not getting any better, despite the OSCE advice to continue the dialogue between the sides, now even more than before the pandemic crisis. “The sides need to exchange relevant data, evaluate existing public health risks and examine all forms of co-operation. Expert meetings on healthcare and other topics related to the current situation, such as banking issues, are important to find workable, mutually agreeable solutions to the benefit of the population. Such meetings will also help to prepare the ground for a substantial 5+2 meeting,” stated the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch.
Especially, the impact of freedom of movement restrictions imposed by Tiraspol in response to the pandemic, including in the Security Zone was underlined. The Head of Mission reiterated the need for Tiraspol to rethink its current approach and to ensure that people can commute to their place of work, can access healthcare services, ATMs and other needs, and reminded that any changes to the regime of the Security Zone require prior approval of the Joint Control Commission, as an official notification of the OSCE Mission to Moldova informed.
The Promo-LEX association also called for the need to monitor places of detention in the Transnistrian region and to implement measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “The Promo-LEX Association expresses its concern about the lack of reaction and debate on the issue of ensuring access to healthcare in penitentiary institutions in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova,” is mentioned in the notice.
The association estimated that about 100 detained persons from two prisons (5% of the total number of convicted or detained persons from Transnistria) would be infected already. “The penitentiary system includes a population at high risk of spreading diseases and faces risk factors in the context of COVID-19. […] The penitentiary medical system is poorly developed or almost non-existent in the Transnistrian region. Therefore, there can be no question of the existence of medical equipment necessary to deal with serious cases of COVID-19. […] In the absence of independent monitoring and transparency of information, in the absence of minimum guarantees for prompt and effective healthcare, the risk of violating the right to life of prisoners in the Transnistrian region is extremely high,” as it is said in the Promo-LEX public message.
According to the official data provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, 4363 cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been reported in the Republic of Moldova to date, of which 541 cases were recorded in Transnistria.
Photo: Anton Poleakov| The Guardian
Moldova’s authorities asked for sending a WHO mission in Transnistria after the OSCE informed that a 5+2 meeting wouldn’t take place
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, as it is mentioned in a press release of the Bureau for Reintegration Policies from Moldova.
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. According to the Moldovan institution’s official notice, “the Bureau uses alternative tools to find out more about the pandemic crisis realities and respect for human rights in the Transnistrian region.”
“We regret that Chisinau’s request on issues of major and vital importance, such as life and health of citizens, as well as population’s access to medical services, given the illegal barriers to free movement, have not been treated with special attention in the context of the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.”
On April 10, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Cristina Lesnic requested the urgent convening of a meeting in the 5 + 2 format in order to discuss measures and identify quick solutions to intervene in the Transnistrian region.
Also, several NGOs from Moldova have asked mediators and observers of the 5+2 negotiation format to take all necessary measures to determine the Moldovan and Transnistrian parts to cease any human rights violation in the region.
The authorities from Chisinau insisted on the need to urgently assemble the meeting and called on the mediators and observers to reconsider their position in this regard.
“The unilateral actions of the Transnistrian side violate human rights, especially the right to life and health, to consult a doctor, to choose a public or private medical institution, the right to free movement, as well as the access to reimbursed medicines and other vital needs. […] We reiterate that the self-isolation of the Transnistrian region on the pretext of the pandemic, impeding free movement and access to emergency medical care, as well as distorting information on the real situation of Moldovan citizens in the Transnistrian region represent serious human rights violations,” is also mentioned in the official notice.
On the other hand, the authorities from Transnistria consider that discussions in the 5 + 2 format have no premises to be organised until the end of the quarantine measures, as the local media outlet PMR Novosti informed after the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs of Transnistria, Vitali Ignatiev, informed the Special Representative of the Russian Federation for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, Sergei Gubarev, about the “existing challenges in relations with the Republic of Moldova”.
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