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US Army Europe General Hodges: The “peacekeepers” in Transnistria are no peacekeepers

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In a recent interview for Ukrainian Censor, the commander of the United States Army in Europe, Lieutenant General Frederick (Ben) Hodges argues that several scenarios are possible in the case of Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Talking about Georgian 2008 scenario, General Hodges brings up the example that the around 10000 Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not withdrawn until now. Moreover, he doubts the peacekeeping character of the Russian troops in Moldova’s breakaway region, Transnistria:

“1500 Russian military “peacekeepers” in Transnistria- of course, they are no “peacekeepers”, it is a group for supporting instability around Ukraine”, says Hodges.

Hodges believes that Russia’s attempts to encircle Ukraine, and its other neighbors, with troops is nothing but a mean of pressuring them not to join the EU or approach the West.

Besides the 402 so-called peacekeepers, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in Transnistria containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited from the Transnistrian locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that stationed in Transnistria even after the collapse of SU.

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Dmitry Kozak states that Plahotniuc gave him an envelope with ideas of Moldova’s federalization

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Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and the special representative of the Russian President for Economic and Trade Relations with Moldova, argued that Vladimir Plahotniuc handed him an envelope containing an A4 sheet with proposals for changing the political course of the Republic of Moldova. The proposal includes the goal of reorientation towards Moscow and settlement of the Transnistrian problem through federalization of the republic, writes “Kommersant”.

At the June 3 meeting between Kozak and the oligarch/leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Plahotniuc handed over an envelope with four proposals on the conditions for a coalition with Socialist Party of Moldova.

According to the document, the proposals of the Democratic Party of Moldova for stabilizing the country’s external path in order to create an alliance with PSRM would be the following:

  1. Prohibit the joining of any military blocs (NATO and others);
  2. Ensure the status of neutrality in order to counteract the unionist movement (the idea of ​​union with Romania);
  3. Change of Moldova’s political orientation in favor of federalization, aimed at solving the Transnistrian conflict;
  4. Reorientation of Moldova’s foreign policy towards the restoration and development of good neighborly relations with Russia (historically, economically, politically and culturally).

In the interview, Kozak insists that the formation of the parliamentary coalition and a new government in Chisinau is not the choice of Moscow, but an internal problem of the Republic of Moldova.

According to his allegations, the recommended action the Russian Deputy Prime Minister gave to the Socialists and the President of the Republic of Moldova (Igor Dodon), was “not to take into account any secret proposals of Vladimir Plahotniuc or of any other parties.”

Reminder: In a press release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Russian Federation, Moscow claimed that it welcomes the formation of the ruling coalition and the Government of the Republic of Moldova.

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The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation claims that Transnistria is a “sovereign state”

It’s official. The Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova is recognized as a “sovereign state” by the General Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow. This is, at least, apparent from a response given on May 16, 2019, in one of the files represented by the Promo-LEX Association lawyers.

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“Recognition of the Transnistrian region as a sovereign state entity by the Russian Federation represents a total and first change of official attitude towards the status of the Transnistrian region of Moldova”, says Promo-LEX.

According to the source, until now, the position of the official structures of the Russian state, including before the European Court of Human Rights, underlined that the Russian Federation respected the constitutional provisions regarding the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, its quality of mediator in the process of settling the Transnistrian problem, the norms of international law, including the Treaty of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

“The response sent on 16 May 2019 reflects a completely different and erroneous attitude of the Russian Federation, which already officially recognizes a regime that is a continuous and flagrant attack on the human rights situation in the territory controlled by the Tiraspol administration”, the press release communicated.

According to Promo-LEX, this radical change in the position of the Russian authorities in relation to the Transnistrian region comes at a time when, before the European Court of Human Right, the Government of the Russian Federation, for more than 20 years, has admitted the fact that the Transnistrian region is a territory belonging to the Republic of Moldova.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Moldova is a sovereign and independent, unitary and indivisible state. The territory of the Republic of Moldova is inalienable. According to the supreme act, human rights and fundamental freedoms must be respected throughout the territory of R.M.

Therefore, the State of Moldova has the duty to intervene in the protection of the rights of any person anywhere on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. However, much of the territory of the Republic of Moldova is outside the control of the constitutional authorities, although according to ECHR jurisprudence the Republic of Moldova has jurisdiction over its entire territory.

“The role of the Russian investigation authorities is quite important from the point of view of protecting the rights of the victims whose rights have been violated in the Transnistrian region by the administration of the region. However, as a result of the multiple convictions of the Russian Federation to the ECHR violations in the Transnistrian region, the investigating authorities, especially the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, are proactive in investigating and prosecuting those who have committed wrongdoing” the source quoted.

Source: Europa Libera Moldova // Kozak and Krasnoselski in Tiraspol

Reminder: After some talks with separatist administration leader Vadim Krasnoselski, this is what Dmitri Kozak declared:

“The Russian Federation will continue to support the Transnistrian region so its inhabitants “feel comfortable as far as possible under the current conditions,”

“For 30 years, Russia has supported Transnistria, because they are our citizens, our compatriots who live here and need support. The Transnistrian Moldovan Republic is in a complicated situation with regard to the lack of solution, the non-regulation of the status issue, and it needs adequate support.”

More on that, according to the press service of the secessionist administration, Kozak talked with Krasnoselski about “topical issues about the functioning of the economy, the social sphere, the logistic support and the material that the Russian Federation could offer”, including the acquisition of Russian citizenship by the inhabitants of the region.

Emphasizing Russia’s role in ensuring peace in Transnistria, he also stated that “negotiations” in the 5 + 2 format are the “current issues” that can only be solved through discussions with the Chisinau authorities, “given the geographical position of Transnistria.”

On the other note…

At Putin’s invitation, Dodon left for St. Petersburg.

One week after he last met Vladimir Putin and went on yet another working visit abroad, Igor Dodon announced that he is about to plan a new trip at the invitation of the Russian President. This time, the head of state goes to St. Petersburg, where he will participate in the XXIIIth edition of the International Economic Forum.

“According to the agenda, I will have meetings with the leadership of the Secretariat of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS member countries and of the UN Economic Council, as well as with the heads of the companies” Gazprom “and” Sberbank”. Moreover, a meeting of the Moldovan-Russian Economic Council will take place in Sankt Petersburg with the participation of officials from the Government of the Russian Federation,” Igor Dodon wrote on his Facebook page.

Since Dodon’s investiture in Moldova’s chairman, 2,700,000 lei has been spent from the state budget to cover his travel expenses. Dodon made 37 official and working visits across the country, of which 17 were carried out in the Russian Federation.

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Reintegration

New tensions in the Security Zone – Moldova’s delegation rings the alarm

The Moldovan delegation from the Joint Control Commission (JCC) is alarmed by the “violations found in the Security Zone committed by the border guards of Tiraspol.”

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“At the JCC meeting on 30 May, the abusive installation of a Transnistrian border guard post (named “Kurgan Slavy”) was discussed in the perimeter of the town of Pohrebea, instead of the so-called “militia”. The issues raised by the Transnistrian side are irrelevant.

The representatives of the Moldovan Delegation say that there have been no changes in infrastructure or increases in efficiency. According to them, the unilateral installation of this new border guard line is flagrantly contradictory to the provisions of the protocol of the Joint Control Commission meeting on February 16, 2012, which decided to exclude the “border guard” station. The control would be placed under the responsibility of the police and “militia” structures.

In that case, following the refusal of the interlocutors to place the subject on the agenda, a consensual decision was made to request military observers to inspect the reference location, with emphasis on compliance with the provisions of that protocol.

“Our delegation qualifies the recent changes in the alleged force structures on Transnistria, namely the transfer of additional competencies to posts to the border guards. This is party of the Transnistrian administration’s efforts to create a “border” in the Security Zone. These intentions are unacceptable and contradict the basic agreements and protocols signed during the peacekeeping mission,” Moldovan representatives added.

During the meeting, the Joint Military Command Report on the Situation in the Security Zone was approved for May 22-28.

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