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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

A federalisation plan for the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic, Part #4



This is not the way to do it.


We will be updating this article in the next 24 hours. Moldova is pushing for the passage of a law that will likely generate civil conflict. Moldova knows this; and she figures that the civil conflict will have a good outcome for her.


This is not the way to deal with ethnic conflicts. The correct way to deal with them is by negotiation.


Here is an English translation of the above article from its Russian original, with further commentary due to appear below:


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CHISINAU WILL OFFER TIRASPOL TO CAPITULATE

Moldova is going to declare the authorities of Transnistria unconstitutional


The Republic of Moldova (RM) and Transnistria intend to hold talks at the level of political representatives in February. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Oleg Serebryan and Foreign Minister of the unrecognized republic Vitaly Ignatiev. However, this week the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova may adopt a law on separatism, in which the Transnistrian authorities are recognized as unconstitutional. The leader of the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Moldova, Viktor Shelin, told NG that at the talks the Moldovan side would offer the leadership and business of Transnistria to surrender their positions and agree to the conditions of Chisinau, otherwise EU and US sanctions would be imposed against them. According to Shelin, security conditions for the Transnistrian authorities will be discussed.

The next meeting of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and Moldova may take place in mid-February. This was announced to journalists by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev. This was confirmed at a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Reintegration of Moldova Oleg Serebryan. According to the head of the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry, "the meeting should take place on the territory of Pridnestrovie." “We are agreeing on a date. It will probably be February 17th. I think the sooner the better. But earlier, Chisinau did not succeed,” Vitaly Ignatiev noted. He argues that it is necessary to intensify the work of sectoral expert groups, which have not yet fully met this year. Ignatiev stressed that the declarations of support for the 5 + 2 negotiation format (Moldova, Pridnestrovie - parties, Russia, Ukraine, OSCE - mediators, The EU and the US are observers) are important, but it is equally important to work directly in this format. In his opinion, there are "no problems in organizing the work of the 5 + 2 format in an informal mode as soon as possible."

It should be noted that the last meeting of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova took place on December 2 last year in Chisinau. The 5+2 negotiation format has not been functioning since the fall of 2019.

The Russian Embassy in Moldova is also talking about maintaining the format of negotiations. The day before, the head of the Russian diplomatic mission, Oleg Vasnetsov, met with Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Serebrian. At the meeting, "the importance of maintaining the 5 + 2 format as an uncontested multilateral dialogue platform" was noted. “Serebryan emphasized Chisinau's intention to find a peaceful solution to the Transnistrian issue within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova,” the press service of the Bureau for Reintegration of the Republic of Moldova said in a statement.


Last week, the same idea was expressed by the US Ambassador to Moldova, Kent Logsdon, on the air of one of the Moldovan TV channels. He stated that the United States supports the 5+2 negotiation format and considers it the only mechanism for finding a peaceful solution to the conflict between Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova.


Recall that in early January, Oleg Serebryan said that the resumption of negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement is impossible until the end of the conflict in Ukraine.


The leader of the Moldovan Social Democrats, Viktor Shelin, noted to NG that the vice-premier had changed his decision, since Chisinau decided to use "soft power" against the unrecognized republic. At the same time, the Moldovan authorities received the approval of their Western partners.


The Republic of Moldova (RM) and Transnistria intend to hold talks at the level of political representatives in February. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Oleg Serebryan and Foreign Minister of the unrecognized republic Vitaly Ignatiev. However, this week the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova may adopt a law on separatism, in which the Transnistrian authorities are recognized as unconstitutional. The leader of the Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Moldova, Viktor Shelin, told NG that at the talks the Moldovan side would offer the leadership and business of Transnistria to surrender their positions and agree to the conditions of Chisinau, otherwise EU and US sanctions would be imposed against them. According to Shelin, security conditions for the Transnistrian authorities will be discussed.

The next meeting of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and Moldova may take place in mid-February. This was announced to journalists by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev. This was confirmed at a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Reintegration of Moldova Oleg Serebryan. According to the head of the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry, "the meeting should take place on the territory of Pridnestrovie." “We are agreeing on a date. It will probably be February 17th. I think the sooner the better. But earlier, Chisinau did not succeed,” Vitaly Ignatiev noted. He argues that it is necessary to intensify the work of sectoral expert groups, which have not yet fully met this year. Ignatiev stressed that the declarations of support for the 5 + 2 negotiation format (Moldova, Pridnestrovie - parties, Russia, Ukraine, OSCE - mediators, The EU and the US are observers) are important, but it is equally important to work directly in this format. In his opinion, there are "no problems in organizing the work of the 5 + 2 format in an informal mode as soon as possible."

It should be noted that the last meeting of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova took place on December 2 last year in Chisinau. The 5+2 negotiation format has not been functioning since the fall of 2019.


The Russian Embassy in Moldova is also talking about maintaining the format of negotiations. The day before, the head of the Russian diplomatic mission, Oleg Vasnetsov, met with Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Serebrian. At the meeting, "the importance of maintaining the 5 + 2 format as an uncontested multilateral dialogue platform" was noted. “Serebryan emphasized Chisinau's intention to find a peaceful solution to the Transnistrian issue within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova,” the press service of the Bureau for Reintegration of the Republic of Moldova said in a statement.


Last week, the same idea was expressed by the US Ambassador to Moldova, Kent Logsdon, on the air of one of the Moldovan TV channels. He stated that the United States supports the 5+2 negotiation format and considers it the only mechanism for finding a peaceful solution to the conflict between Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova.


Recall that in early January, Oleg Serebryan said that the resumption of negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement is impossible until the end of the conflict in Ukraine.


The leader of the Moldovan Social Democrats, Viktor Shelin, noted to NG that the vice-premier had changed his decision, since Chisinau decided to use "soft power" against the unrecognized republic. At the same time, the Moldovan authorities received the approval of their Western partners.


"Earlier, Kyiv offered Moldova to solve the Transnistrian issue by force by seizing Russian ammunition depots in the village of Kolbasna in Transnistria. Moldovan President Maia Sandu did not agree to this proposal and turned to the United States, France and Germany for support. Sandu received it. And she stated that the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict is possible only by peaceful means. All leading Moldavian persons later reminded about this. I suppose that the forthcoming negotiations will focus on a compromise on the part of Pridnestrovie regarding the security of the Pridnestrovian leadership and business. Moreover, the interests of the parties today intersect in the energy sector: Moldova sends the Russian gas supplied to it to Pridnestrovie, where it produces electricity for the Republic of Moldova. Chisinau will offer the authorities of the unrecognized republic to hand over Transnistria,


He recalled that at one time an agreement was signed between Moldova and the Russian Federation, which stipulated the functioning of the governing bodies in Pridnestrovie. And in 2005, under President Vladimir Voronin, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova adopted a law on the status of Transnistria, which legitimized them. Now, according to the expert, it's time to change the situation, using "soft power" for this. In fact, Chisinau, taking advantage of the difficult situation of Transnistria, blockaded by Ukraine and Moldova, expects to agree with the authorities of the region on joining Moldova together with the citizens of the Republic of Moldova living on the left bank of the Dniester and moving with it to the EU or subject to harsh sanctions.

Meanwhile, a hearing on the law on separatism was announced this week in the Moldovan parliament. It can be adopted on third reading. The Information and Security Service (ISS) of the Republic of Moldova noted that the concept of "anti-constitutional subject" mentioned in the bill will include the authorities of Transnistria, in particular, the structures of the government and the Supreme Council. The head of the Transnistrian Foreign Ministry sent a request to the political representative of the Republic of Moldova, Oleg Serebryan, asking him to clarify what he meant: “This quote directly indicates the repressive, politicized nature of the bill and contradicts the assertions that it will not interfere with the negotiation process between Tiraspol and Chisinau.”


Note that the law on "separatism" is an amendment that introduces new articles into the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova - in particular, "Conspiracy against Moldova" (from 2 to 7 years in prison) and "Separatism". Also, in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova, such concepts as “anti-constitutional subject” and “illegal information structure” are fixed. In the latter case, we are talking about a structure that will collect information “constituting a state secret” or “other information that may harm Moldova” (the content of this second concept is not disclosed). Creation of an "illegal information structure" is punishable by 7 to 10 years in prison.


As for "separatism", calls for it are expected from 2 to 5 years in prison. For “incitement” – a fine of 35,000 to 75,000 lei ($100 – 1,900 Moldovan lei). For calls for "separatism" with the use of violence - from 7 to 12 years in prison. For financing "separatism" - from 6 to 12 years or a fine from 600 to 750 thousand lei.

Pridnestrovian Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev has repeatedly noted that the proposed bill is a challenge and a threat to the Moldovan-Pridnestrovian negotiation process.


In the Gagauz autonomy in the south of Moldova, they also commented on the "law on separatism." The Gagauz deputies noted: "This will definitely affect Gagauzia, and even more so Transnistria." 


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Notes


  1. Why now this legislation? We have had peace since 1992 (30 years). Answer: to stir the pot amidst the war with Ukraine.

  2. The Moldovans are playing into the Russians' hands. The Russians would love another front to fight on right now. Their weakness lies not in the number of fronts they can fight on simultaneously (their army is enormous); but in their inability substantially to prevail on any one front (their army is badly trained and of poor morale).

  3. The Russians may have few troops near Odessa and Transnistr; but they have a plentiful navy replete with contemporary ballistic missiles, arguably the best in the world, with which they can strike Moldova.

  4. Their goal in doing so would not be to occupy Moldova; but to make the war more complicated and confusing by dragging Moldova in.

  5. One should never forget that Russia's treasury, at the current elevated hydrocarbon prices, is full, allowing her to fight on multiple fronts indefinitely. A long way is in Russia's interests, and hence so is involving Moldova in her war in Ukraine.

  6. The Russians are looking for a pretext to open a new front in Moldova, and right now Moldova is giving them one. They should stop doing so foolish a thing.


Artice inconplete - updates to follow


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