Image by Clay Gilliland
Moldova is tweaking Moscow in the United Nations by formally requesting that U.N. approval for Russian peacekeepers, who have occupied the breakaway Transdniester region since the conflict there in the early 1990s, be terminated and all Russian troops be removed from its territory. Tensions between Chisinau and the Kremlin have been rising over the last year as Russia has further interjected itself into internal affairs of the tiny, former Soviet republic, to prevent its movement towards the European Union. Moldovan Ambassador to Russia Andrei Negutsa was called into the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow to discuss the issue.
Ryabkov “drew the ambassador’s attention to the provocative initiative put forward by Chisinau, which requests that the possibility of a complete withdrawal of foreign military forces from Moldova’s territory be included in the agenda of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly,” reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“Russia stressed that Moscow considered this step, which ignores the real reasons for the Russian limited contingent of troops’ presence in the Dniester River area, as another link in a chain of hostile actions that those politicians in Chisinau, who do not want bilateral relations to improve, have been taking recently…those who initiate such actions, which do not meet the aspirations of a significant part of Moldova’s citizens, should understand that they will inevitably have a negative effect on bilateral cooperation, as well as on the process of resolving the Transnistria crisis.”
“Moldova’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Victor Moraru, published on Tuesday, the country requests the United Nations to support its efforts aimed at completing the complete withdrawal of foreign military units from its territory. The message also says that it is necessary to consider this issue as a new preventive diplomatic step in a region where peace and stability may be at risk,” reports TASS.
Vadim Krasnoselsky, the leader of the unrecognized Transdniester region, deplored the request, saying the removal of Russian troops would lead to renewed armed conflict.
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Recently Romania and Moldova have refused overflight or landing rights for Russian diplomats over anger at Moldovan citizens and diplomats being harassed in Moscow. Russia also is accused of orchestrating a massive theft of Moldovan treasury assets that turned the population against the pro-EU government. Russia is also opposing the reunification of Moldova and Romania.
Ukraine has refused Russian aircraft or rail transport from using its territory to resupply Russian troops as it fights pro-Russian separatists in the eastern parts of Ukraine.