Oct 2, 2021
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Washington put Transnistria on “defrost”

Washington puts Transnistria on "defrost"

Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova

The priority of the new US Ambassador to Moldova Doyle Logsdon there will be a withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Transnistria. The diplomat said this himself at the hearings to confirm his new position, which were held yesterday in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate of the Congress.

The current ambassador Derek Hogan, who led the American diplomatic mission in Chisinau since October 2018, his term of office ends. And he will return to his homeland as a Knight of the Order of Honor – so the president Maya Sandu noted the diplomat’s merits in “strengthening the institutions of Moldova and promoting democracy.”

Logsdon also has big plans in this regard. He, like his predecessor, promises to promote democracy, as well as “put pressure on Russia” so that “it fulfills its obligations to withdraw troops and ammunition from Transnistria.”

The candidate did not forget to mention the “terrible” Russian “harmful influence and disinformation”, which, in his opinion, threaten the European democratic course of Moldova. The Moldovan people, in the words of the diplomat, “have chosen a bold path of reforms and Western integration, and it is in the interests of the United States to support it.”

That is, we can expect that Logsdon, as head of the American embassy, ​​will continue the practice of transferring the country (in this case, Moldova) under the external manual control of Washington, which was well-developed by his colleagues (in the same Ukraine). Moreover, in tandem with the Romanian citizen Sandu, whom the States, in fact, ensured the victory in the presidential elections, and her party has a majority in parliament, this will not be problematic.

Speaking recently at a session of the UN General Assembly, Sandu once again made it clear that Chisinau will continue to insist on the withdrawal of the Russian military from Transnistria and the removal of ammunition from the warehouses in Kolbasna. At the same time, she noted that the Transnistrian conflict can only be resolved peacefully on the basis of the sovereignty and integrity of Moldova.

As you know, it is customary to speak about peacefulness from the high rostrum. However, reality does not always coincide with words.

Otherwise, how to explain that on September 26, literally the day after the Moldovan president’s statement, a US Air Force transporter landed at the Chisinau airport with military equipment for the Moldovan Ministry of Defense worth $ 5 million. Which one, the authorities are silent.

But, as a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Alexey Zaitsev, we can talk about “small arms, communications, light artillery systems and armored vehicles.” Moreover, according to his information, by the end of the year there will be several more similar supplies from the United States.

It is officially stated that this is being done to increase “interoperability for participation in international peacekeeping operations.” But this explanation sounds somehow unconvincing. Especially against the background of the recent statement of the Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister on “reintegration” Vladislav Kulminsky, who stated that the Transnistrian conflict is no longer frozen and will be resolved in the coming years.

But if the words of Kulminsky can still be understood in two ways, then the Moldovan political scientist Vladimir Rotar in his column for RTA (Regional Trends Analytics) is more outspoken. He believes that these weapons will be used against Transnistria.

“Most likely, there is a goal to achieve a certain parity with the army of the separatist enclave in Transnistria and the group of Russian troops located there. It is clear that the Moldovan army is unlikely to ever become a powerful independent player, but it is quite capable of exerting tension in its small sector, ”he writes.

SP asked to comment on the situation Professor of the RANEPA under the President of the Russian Federation, a well-known expert on the Transnistrian conflict Natalia Kharitonova:

– Unfortunately, the decisions concerning the Transnistrian issue are not taken in Chisinau. And in this regard, one can recall the words of the American Ambassador Hogan, who also once said that the Transnistrian conflict will be resolved in the coming years. True, he did not specify how. But the position that he now takes allows us to believe that, in fact, such a formulation of the question comes directly from the US State Department. Accordingly, the new ambassador will continue the same line.

This rhetoric has not appeared now. Not even with Sandu, but, indeed, earlier. It’s just that now, it turns out, the United States has acquired a real toolkit to influence this situation more effectively. Because, let’s face it, they managed to make an almost completely pro-Western parliament in Moldova and a pro-Western government.

That is, they had more tools in their hands in order to more effectively influence the situation.

Again, the Pridnestrovian side behaved predictably, which, against the background of all these statements, also indicated that it would turn to Russia to recognize the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic with reference to the results of referendums – a certain number of them took place there. That Pridnestrovie wants independence and joining the Russian Federation.

In this sense, nothing significant happened.

In fact, it seems to me that if the situation could now sharply turn towards the resumption of the hot phase of the conflict, then Sandu in her speech at the General Assembly would certainly have mentioned the UN General Assembly resolution already adopted in 2018 on “the need for the withdrawal of the Russian military contingent and the removal of ammunition from the territory of Transnistria “.

“SP”: – She bypassed this question?

– Yes, to the great surprise of ardent pro-Western supporters, Sandu did not say this in her speech. That is, in fact, she left a certain backlash in order to, indeed, come up with some kind of peaceful settlement of the conflict. But according to a scenario that will suit, accordingly, not only Washington, but also the current Chisinau.

In addition, during the August visit of Dmitry Kozak (deputy head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation – ed.) To the Moldovan capital, she also promised that no economic pressure would be exerted on Transnistria, and the economic blockade would not continue.

However, already on September 1, we saw the tightening of these measures, but with the hands of Ukraine. That is, Chisinau in this sense remained “white and fluffy” – Kiev did everything. And it is clear that this line was also coordinated by Washington.

“SP”: – Then what did Kulminsky mean when he talked about “unfreezing” the conflict?

– Kulminsky repeated exactly what was expected of him. But it still seems to me, and the circumstances all speak in favor of the fact that Moldova is simply trying to strengthen its negotiating positions on the eve of the next 5 + 2 meeting on the Transnistrian settlement. That is, the statement of the Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister is only a certain element of the negotiation strategy aimed at strengthening the negotiating position. What this can actually lead to, we can see only after the meeting.

In any case, Sweden, as the current chairman of the OSCE, is very interested in it, which has been repeatedly emphasized by the OSCE chairman, the head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry. Ann Linde… Stockholm would like to move forward on the issue of a peaceful settlement during its presidency in the organization.

Therefore, if nothing extraordinary happens, then the meeting should take place before the end of this year. And everything that is happening now is simply aimed at strengthening the negotiating positions of Moldova, the EU and the United States (they are all included in this format, albeit with different statuses) in order to exert serious pressure on the Transnistrian side.

SP: – Is there, in your opinion, some kind of solution that would triple everyone – Chisinau and Tiraspol, Washington, Moscow and Brussels?

– In fact, since we have a situation that for thirty years the conflict cannot be resolved, there is no such option. And it certainly cannot be.

The formulas that appear in all OSCE documents, and on which negotiators of different levels and status have been relying all these years, they all talk about a kind of common state. At the same time, initially there were no indications (and there are a lot of interpretations) what this “common state” is.

Is this unitary Moldova? Chisinau is striving for this option.

Or a single state can be a completely opposite form to a unitary state – a confederation.

And in the negotiation processes there were periods when Pridnestrovie was ready to go for the confederation option. But Chisinau turned back, and this time has already been lost. Now the elites are experiencing completely different aspirations and sentiments.

Transnistria no longer wants to consider the option of a confederation – only independence. In response, Moldova insists only on a unitary structure of the future united state.

Moreover, both there and there are regulations that fix such an installation. In Moldova, this is a 2005 law, according to which the PMR should be reintegrated into the unitary republic of Moldova and become one of its regions.

But in Transnistria there are documents of the opposite nature. Plus, referendums – the expression of the will of the people was recorded more than once in this regard.

Therefore, at the moment there is really no position that would suit both sides. The last time Chisinau and Tiraspol were ready for a compromise was a Memorandum Kozak, 2003, which solved the problem through the federalization of Moldova. However, its implementation was thwarted by the Moldovan side, not without the participation of representatives of various Western structures in Moldova.

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