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Tiraspol intends to build a “customs terminal” next to the Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge

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22 February 2018- The separatist administration from Tiraspol again disagreed to discuss the issue of concentration of armed forces and border infrastructure next to the Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge.

According to a press-release of the Moldovan delegation, the Transnistrian delegation rejected the proposal of the Russian representatives to the Joint Control Commission (JCC) on abstaining from unilateral actions of modifying infrastructure and the nominal quantity of force structures in the area adjacent to the Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc bridge.

In a declaration to the JCC, the Moldovan delegation is describing the deployed infrastructure and armed forces of Tiraspol to the newly opened bridge:

“…in the night preceding 17 November 2017, at the entrance of the bridge from Bîcioc, the force structure of Transnistria unilaterally installed a new control checkpoint with the respective infrastructure: three wagons for the personnel, two modules with the inscription “Migration Service”, barriers as gates. From that day on, around 5 workers of the “border forces”, 2 “customs officers” and 2 representatives of the “migration service” are working there”, reads the statement, which accuses the Transnistrians of provoking the situation in the Security Area.

The Moldovan delegation, led by Ivan Solonenko, believes that the real intention of the Tiraspol regime is installing a fully-fledged “border customs terminal” without informing the JCC and by violating the inviolability of the Security Area. In conclusion, representatives of Chișinău are calling on the guarantors and mediators of the peacekeeping process on Nistru river to apply pressure on the Transnistrians to refrain from unilateral and not agreed upon actions with unpredictable consequences.

The call of the Moldovans was reportedly supported by the co-chairman of the JCC, Ilya Uvarov, that repeatedly called to identify solutions for fully reopening the bridge over Nistru.

In the Transnistrian press, Tiraspol’s representative declared that the dialogue within the JCC is “constructive” and that the situation in the Security Area “stays stable and manageable”.

The next meeting of the JCC is delayed for 1 March 2018.

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 neighbouring 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.

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

Reintegration

Tudor Ulianovschi: Moldova pleads consistently for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory

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The statement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Tudor Ulianovschi, at the OSCE’s annual ministerial meeting, which took place today in Milan, Italy.

The Republic of Moldova consistently pleads for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory and for the transformation of the current peacekeeping operation into a civilian mission with an international mandate.

According to a communiqué from the Chisinau Diplomacy, Minister Ulianovschi mentioned that these and other measures to build trust and support the population effectively contribute to the proximity between the two banks of the Dniester and to create a favorable atmosphere for the final settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

In this context, Tudor Ulianovschi invoked the UN General Assembly resolution “On the complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”, drawing in particular attention to the serious humanitarian and ecological hazards of the stocks of the Cobasna ammunition.

The head of the Moldovan diplomacy thanked the 57 participating states for their support in the adoption of the declaration on the “5 + 2” negotiation process in order

“to help identify a peaceful, comprehensive and durable for this conflict, based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders, with a special status for Transnistria.”

In a wider context, Tudor Ulianovschi advocated stepping up efforts to regulate conflicts in the GUAM area, underlining the importance of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states within their internationally recognized borders.

“The recent Russian-Ukrainian naval incident in the Kerch Strait demonstrates once more how fragile peace and security are in this geographical area in which my country is located,” contended Tudor Ulianovschi.

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Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs: There were many delusions that the conflict between Moldova and Transnistria is very easy to resolve

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The head of the Transnistrian diplomatic mission told about what is slowing down the negotiation process.

The First Transnistrian TV channel took an interview from the Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vitaly Ignatiev, who claims that the Transnistrian side is trying to focus on concrete matters, on a specific agenda within the conflict negotiation process.

Ignatiev drew attention to the fact that the position of President Vadim Krasnoselsky, who previously declared that it makes no sense to meet with Moldovan counterparts without a specific agenda, is connected with this.

According to him, over the years of the negotiation formats on the Moldovan-Transnistrian settlement, various visions, plans or approaches that took place, there were many delusions that the conflict was very easy to resolve.

However, the Transnistrian diplomat refuses to recognize Transnistria as part of Moldova.

“We have absolutely legitimate international legal, historical grounds for recognizing the independence of Transnistria. We have a generation of Transnistrians who have not lived a single day in the Soviet Moldova. Any settlement should be based on the will of the people. We rely on the will of the population, which has already determined its fate within referendums,” the minister added.

He stated that Transnistria lives in accordance with its Constitution, and Moldova, in turn, lives within its legislative space.

“There is not a single signal about the eagerness of the Moldovan authorities to deal with these issues seriously, although there are a lot of statements about the issue. Sometimes these statements create an unnecessary background and interfere with the dialogue,” the diplomat concluded.

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Reintegration

Transnistrian president Krasnoselsky: Discussing issues with the Moldovan president is impractical at the moment.

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Recently, the president of Moldova, Igor Dodon has made an announcement that, in December, there is a scheduled meeting with the President of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselsky.

The event will take place in Bender, writes the Transnistrian news portal novostiprm.com.

However, the according to the separatist press, Krasnoselsky made it clear that there will be no meeting “just for the sake of meeting”, affirming that there are enough unresolved issues and problems on the negotiation agenda.

“A clear agenda is necessary, and I don’t see it the moment. Those 5 + 2 questions format do not correspond to his competences. Furthermore, in principle, discussing these issues with Igor Dodon is impractical. The president of Moldova should have his own agenda,” declared the president of Transnistria.

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