Maia Sandu intends to achieve the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria
Moldova: Maia Sandu wins vote, beating Russia-backed competitor
Ukrainian and Moldovan experts assessed the possibility of implementing this scenario
KIEV – Moldovan President-elect Maia Sandu advocates the withdrawal of Russian troops from unrecognized Transnistria. The Russian military should leave along with the ammunition they are guarding in the region, Maia Sandu said at a November 30 press conference. “When we talk about the presence of Russian troops in the PMR (the so-called Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, – ed.) – this is an operational group of the Russian Federation, according to which there is no agreement on their presence on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, and the position of Moldova will continue to be based on the withdrawal of this group “, – said Sandu.
According to her, the demand for the withdrawal of troops is not just a declaration, she promised to “work with Russia as much as is necessary to resolve the issue of the export of weapons and the withdrawal of troops.”.
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov warned in response that a change in the status quo in Transnistria could lead to significant destabilization of the situation in the region..
Maia Sandu won the presidential elections in Moldova on November 15. She is a candidate from the pro-European Party of Action and Justice and stands for the European orientation of Moldova, at the same time stresses that she does not want to spoil relations with Moscow. Sandu spoke earlier about the need to withdraw the Russian military from the territory of Moldova.
Troop withdrawal – technical aspect
Director of the Institute of World Politics Yevgeny Magda noted that, in addition to political, there are “technical” questions to which you need to know the answers when it comes to the withdrawal of the Russian contingent from Transnistria.
“Near the settlement of Kolbasna (PMR – TB) there are the largest warehouses in Europe. The armament of the Soviet Army was exported there when its units left Eastern Europe – the GDR, Poland, the Czech Republic: a huge amount of ammunition. Moldova borders only two states, Ukraine and Romania. How will the troops be withdrawn, the ammunition removed, how? Will Russia agree to this? “, – says Evgeny Magda to the Russian service of the” Voice of America “.
After the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Magda recalled, Russia received a military presence in all the GUAM states – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova: “Now the Russian military, the so-called“ peacekeepers ”, are in Azerbaijan, and I don’t understand why Russia will be leave Moldova if for years it has been considering this country as an instrument for destabilizing the situation in the region, in particular, the southern flank of NATO “.
About the pro-Western course of Moldova
Scientific Director of the Foundation “Democratic Initiatives” named after Ilka Kucheriva, professor Alexey Garan believes that Russia is not interested in the PMR returning to Moldova.
“Much will depend on whether early parliamentary elections are held, what majority is formed in it. Because the President of Moldova has limited powers, ”Alexei Garan says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America. He believes that President Sandu and the democratic, pro-Western majority in parliament will adhere to a pro-Moldovan policy in areas where President Igor Dodon, in fact, demonstrated a pro-Russian.
Professor Garan calls the desire of the new President of Moldova to visit Ukraine after the inauguration as “absolutely correct step”: “This is due to the fact that Dodon did not say at one time that Crimea was the territory of Ukraine. After that, Dodon tried many times to improve relations with Kiev, but Kiev’s position was principled – he must disavow his statements, I must say that Crimea is Ukraine. Dodon did not do this, he was under the influence of Russia “.
On the powers of the President of Moldova
Olga Gnatkova, editor of the Moldovan independent publication NewsMaker.md, noted that the withdrawal of Russian troops (primarily the OGRV) from Transnistria has been talked about in Moldova for several years..
“Back in 2018, it was possible to ensure that the relevant resolution was approved by the UN, but this has not yielded results to this day. It is hardly worth expecting sudden successes in this matter from Maia Sandu: the powers of the president are limited, and her party does not yet have a majority in parliament, and it is not a fact that it will appear even after the supposed early elections, “Gnatkova tells the Russian service of the Voice of America..
She believes that the discussion that is being conducted in the expert and political community around the issues of the territorial integrity of Moldova largely depends not only on the presence or absence of Russian troops: “In Chisinau there is still no clear proposal that can be put on the negotiating table – a project on federalization, conditions of autonomy or any other format for the existence of Transnistria as part of Moldova. As Sandu confirmed today, the conflict resolution model is still being developed. There is no clear understanding in Moldova of what to do with Transnistria even in an ideal situation “.
New formulas for cooperation
Oleksandr Solontay, an expert from the Institute of Political Education, believes that Ukraine should support the initiative of Maya Sandu. “The withdrawal of Russian troops from the PMR is a victory, because the process of reunification of Moldova will take place, and for us it will be a reduction of the Russian threat in the western direction. Today we have south-west, south, east and north – positions to repel the Russian threat, “Solontai says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
He believes that Ukraine and Moldova could find new formulas for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. “It can be the consolidated efforts of Ukraine and Moldova in the border, customs, logistics, infrastructure and transport spheres. They can be used in new formulas to create appropriate pressure for Transnistria to get rid of Russian troops, “Solontay said..