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Reintegration

Russia plans to open 24 voting centers in Transnistria for 2018 Presidential elections

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Source: Сергей Мальгавко/ТАСС

The Russian Federation will reportedly open 24 voting centers in the Transnistrian region of Moldova for the Presidential elections taking place on 7 March 2018, reports Novostipmr.com quoting the press-release of the separatist electoral office.

The number of voting centers was agreed in December 2017 between the separatist electoral office and the Russian Embassy in Moldova. The so-called Transnistrian authorities insisted on opening two additional voting centers, taking into account the high turnout during the 2016 Duma elections. According to Regnum, one additional center will be opened in Tiraspol and Bender each.

The Embassy of Russia in Moldova did not announce yet the number and location of all voting centers to be opened on the entire Moldova territory.

During the 2016 Duma elections, 9 voting centers were 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 were opened only for the Russian Operative Group troops and the Russian peace-keepers. In 2016, the Moldovan authorities objected to the opening of the voting centers without their consultation.

There are around 180 thousand people holding Russian citizenship and living in the Transnistrian region.

Persons 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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Economy

Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Moldova when it comes to Artificial Intelligence

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The 7th edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) addressed the topic Global Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. The index is used to rank 132 national economies, across all groups of income and levels of development, that representing 97% of the world’s GDP and 94% of its population. The report referred, first of all, to the level of innovation and technology development, exploring how the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only changing the nature of work but also forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems.

This year, Moldova ranked 86th out of 132 analysed economies, being ranked behind the neighbouring countries such as Ukraine and Romania, which ranked 66th and 64th, respectively.

The countries that are best positioned to benefit from the AI revolution are also the most developed countries in the world, especially when it comes to the competitiveness and potential of attracting and training best professionals. Top ten countries in the ranking are Switzerland, the United States of America, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway and Australia.

New York, London, Singapore, San Francisco, Boston, Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Munich are among the most developed cities in this regard.

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source: insead.edu

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source: insead.edu

GTCI highlights

One of the most important observations made in the GTCI report for 2020 is that the gap between talent champions (almost all of them high-income countries) and the rest of the world is widening. Still, AI may provide significant opportunities for emerging countries to leapfrog.

The top of the GTCI rankings is still dominated by Europe, including the Nordic countries – a significant number of small high-income economies, many of them being either landlocked, island or quasi-island economies, including Switzerland (1st), Singapore (3rd), Luxembourg (8th), Iceland (14th) or Austria (17th).

According to the report, the key factor is developing relatively open socio-economic policies in which talent growth and management are central priorities in the age of AI.

Moldova

Moldova managed to get a score of 36.64, being ranked 86th out of 132 countries. It was classified as lower-middle income country and ranked 7th out of 32 countries included in this category. The country’s talent competitiveness index weakened as compared to the period between 2015-2017, when it was listed around the 61st position.

Moldova was evaluated with the highest scores for such aspects as gender development gap, ease of doing business, number of female graduates, competition intensity and political stability, while the lowest scores were given for its share of R&D expenditure, robot density, university ranking, number of registered researchers, scientific journal articles, labour productivity per employee, new business density and collaboration across organisations.

This year’s model of the GTCI index includes a total of 70 variables, up from 68 indicators used in the GTCI 2019.

source: insead.edu

Photo: cambridgealert.com

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Reintegration

BBC about Transnistria’s independence day: “Celebrating a nation that doesn’t exist”

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There are several perspectives in the world on what Transnistria is: a breakaway state, a separatist region that is technically part of Moldova, or an independent state that is wrongfully not recognised by most of world’s countries and international organisations. Either way, it is an enigmatic and attractive region in Europe that is visited annually by thousands of tourists, including international journalists who write or make documentaries about it.

That is also the case of Sarah Reid from BBC who has visited Transnistria and let the world know her perspective on how things are there.

First of all, the author explained what this region represents: “a sliver of land tracing Moldova’s border with Ukraine for 400 km […] the tiny Eastern European nation, formally called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), doesn’t officially exist, but it has its own government, currency and passport.”

Officially, the region of Transnistria is not recognised by any member of the United Nations despite declaring its independence in 1990, none but only three states – Abkhazia, the Republic of Artsakh, and South Ossetia – all also disputed territories, as it is described in the BBC article.

The fact that Transnistria seems stuck in the Soviet Union is highlighted in the article, that being one of the most interesting things that draws the international tourists attention. “Indeed, from the imperious statue of Lenin guarding Transnistria’s Brutalist parliament building to its streets named after Communist luminaries and significant dates, it’s certainly not short on Soviet-era relics,” is stated in the article.

However, the region still has few attractions and even less tourism infrastructure beyond Tiraspol. Most of the estimated 20,000 annual visitors come on day trips from Moldova. “Indeed, with regular buses from Chisinau to Tiraspol and visa-free entry to Transnistria (a hotel reservation must be produced at the border posts maintained by the Transnistrian military to stay more than one day), it’s relatively easy to visit – although navigating the nation as a non-Russian speaker is no simple task,” said Sarah Reid.

On the day of celebration its “independence”, Transnistria was presented as a “proud little “country” that marches to its own beat.”

“With highlights including a fancy rifle-twizzling routine and military commanders zooming around in Soviet-era jeeps saluting assembled troops, the 2019 military parade marking Transnistria’s 29th year of self-declared independence didn’t exactly challenge the stereotype.”

Other curious realities described in the Reid’s article are that Transnistria’s people hold dual or triple nationality with Russia, Moldova or Ukraine, “so they’re not exactly trapped in this landlocked enclave characterised by sleepy villages, abandoned Soviet factories, and vineyards that supply Tiraspol’s enormous Kvint brandy distillery.”

Also, Transnistria has always considered itself a part of the Russian cultural space, three main ethnic groups residing there, Russian being the common tongue, Russian flags fluttering alongside Transnistrian flags on all Tiraspol’s (the capital city of the region) buildings, and with Russian soldiers taking part in the Independence Day parade.

Source: BBC| Sarah Reid

“Despite nearly a third of its 1,500 troops forming part of a trilateral peacekeeping force, the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF)’s presence in Transnistria irks Moldovan and Western officials. But with one of the largest USSR weapons dumps in Europe under their guard just 2 km from the Ukrainian border, it’s no wonder Russia has ignored calls from the UN to withdraw its troops. Plus, it has the support of Transnistria’s pro-Russian government, which considers the ORGF an essential stabilising force,” it is pointed out by the BBC author.

Overall, Transnistria is described as a calm region, despite all its conflictual background. “I discovered that “calm” is a fair description of Tiraspol. Despite the strangeness of this semi-deserted city from a bygone era, rarely have I felt safer wandering the streets of a European capital. And while big crowds are something I would usually avoid in a frozen conflict zone, the Independence Day celebrations couldn’t have been more family-friendly,” Reid confessed in her article.

Still, “with Moldova reluctant to give it up, and Russia unlikely to get out, becoming a truly independent nation may remain a pipe-dream for the people who call Transnistria home,” concluded the article.

Find the full text here.

Photo: BBC| Sarah Reid

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Reintegration

Promo-Lex: “The illegal presence of the Russian army on the territory of Moldova represents a support of an administration that deliberately violates the human rights.”

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One of the most controversial territory in Europe, a self-proclaimed republic, which officially is part of the Republic of Moldova – Transnistria, still has on its territory two Russian military contingents since the Fourteen Army of the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union was established in the region in 1956.

The Russian troops have been renamed and transferred to Transnistria. Nowadays, they are the Russian Troops Task Force (GOTR), which safeguards the ammunition depots belonging to the Russian Federation and the peacekeeping mission forces sent by Russian Government on the Transnistrian territory.

While the Russian Federation insists that its military presence in the Republic of Moldova aims merely at ensuring and maintaining the peace in the region, the international community, the constitutional authorities and the majority of the population of
Moldova, perceive the situation as an occupation. All in all, the situation is regarded as a real danger to regional security.

According to a Promo-Lex report on Russian Military presence and its impact on human rights situation, “Moscow actually used its control over the former USSR Armed Forces’ military bases to maintain their military presence on the territories of the newly independent countries that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union,” such as Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia.

As the report states, the Russian Government “used its military presence not to strengthen security of the countries of deployment, but primarily for the sake of Russian geopolitical and economic interests, including strengthening of own influence on neighbouring states.”

As a result of the lack of proper legislation and oversight mechanisms to supervise the compliance of the Russian military presence with the legislation of Moldova, bilateral agreements, as well as the international law, serious human rights violations and significant deterioration in human rights situation resulted.

Until October 1, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued more than 28 judgements in over 56 Transnistrian cases against the Russian Federation, the total sum of claims awarded by the Court amounted more than 5.5 million euro, as the Promo-Lex report stated. That includes cases of detention in inhuman and degrading conditions, transmission of complainants to illegal region structures, torture, ill-treatment, simulated executions, rape, murder, lack of effective investigation into the death of persons who were forcedly enrolled in the Transnistrian military units, limiting the right to freedom of movement and seizure of transport means, etc. A direct or indirect participation of soldiers from the Russian military forces established in Transnistria was recorded in all these cases.

“The illegal presence of the Russian army on the territory of the Republic of Moldova represents a support of an administration deliberately violating the human rights, and in the absence of an opportunity to influence the state of play in the field of human rights, Russia is entirely responsible for the violations, as a subject of the international law,” concluded the report.

Also, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova concluded that the Russian Federation rather than withdrawing its occupation troops from the east, strengthened its military presence, which is a violation of the constitutional provisions on the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and permanent neutrality of Moldova, as well as an infringement of the international law, as it is declared in the report.

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