TIRASPOL, December 27, /ITAR-TASS/. The self-proclaimed Transdniestrian republic, which is seeking independence from Moldova, said it would use Russian legislation in order to ensure its own dynamic development.
“The transition to Russian legislation is Transdniestria’s sovereign right which is based on the wish of its people. In the referendum of 2006, 97 percent of its participants spoke in favour of closer relations with Russia. Our goal is to ensure dynamic development of the republic,” its leader Yevgeny Shevchuk said.
On December 25, the Transdniestrian parliament adopted a law authorising the use of Russian legislation in the region.
“The law adopted by the parliament in the first reading allows the use of Russian legislation alongside local laws, with the former taking precedence,” Shevchuk said.
He believes this is especially vital now that Moldova has initialled the Association and Free Trade Area Agreement with the European Union.
Transdniestria has already suggested “a civilised divorce” to Moldova, taking into account the fact that “Transdniestria’s priority is integration into the Eurasian space.”
Nearly one-third of Transdniestria’s population - about 150,000 people - have Russian citizenship.
Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Eugen Carpov criticised the Transdniestrian parliament’s decision and said it was “unilateral and breaches the agreements reached at the recent meeting of the OSCE foreign ministers in Kiev, who recognised the current 5+2 format as the basis for negotiations on the resolution of the conflict,” Carpov said.
He stressed that “Transdniestria is a part of Moldova in accordance with international law.”
The Transdniestrian conflict started in March 1992 when the first clashes occurred between Moldovan police and Transdniestrian militia near the city of Dubossary, which were followed by an outbreak of armed hostilities. By summer, it had developed into large-scale fighting in Bendery, where about a thousand people were killed and tens of thousands were wounded and became refugees.
The fratricidal war was stopped after a peace agreement was signed in Moscow in July of the same year and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict area.
Since then, they have been guarding peace and calm in the region, together with their Moldovan and Transdniestria colleagues, thus allowing Chisinau and Tiraspol to conduct negotiations on the settlement of the conflict.
Russian peacekeepers were deployed in the region in July 1992 after the presidents of Moldova and Russia had signed in Moscow an agreement on the peaceful settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, thus putting an end to the fratricidal war that had claimed over a thousand lives and left tens of thousands wounded and refugees.
The limited group of Russian troops (LGRT) and Russian peacekeepers are staying in the Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic in accordance with the Agreement on the Principles of Peaceful Settlement of the Moldovan-Transdniestrian Conflict that was signed in 1992 by the heads of Russia and the Republic of Moldova in the presence of the president of Transdniestria. The joint statement of the presidents of Moldova, Transdniestria and Russia signed on March 18, 2009 noted the stabilising role of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the region and the advisability for its transformation into a peace-safeguarding operation under the auspices of the OSCE only after the Transdniestrian settlement. The LGRT guards the remains of arms depots that were built during the Second World War and that began to be moved out in 2000. This process was later stopped by the Transdniestrian authorities following a deep stalemate in the Moldovan-Transdniestrian conflict.
Since then, they have been guarding peace in the region together with their Moldovans and Transdniestrian colleagues. No armed clashes or deaths of peaceful citizen have been reported in the region during this period.
The Transdniestrian settlement talks in 5+2 format were broken up at the end of February 2006. Chisinau and Tiraspol managed to resume the dialogue with Russia’s assistance two years later at the level of political representatives. They gathered every month to resolve pressing problems of the population of Moldova and the breakaway republic. In March 2009, the negotiations were resumed again after the trilateral meeting of the presidents of Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria. At their meetings in Moscow and Vilnius late last year and in Dublin this year, the parties agreed to resume the talks.
The agenda of the 5+2 talks consists of three sets of issues: socioeconomic problems, humanitarian issues and human rights, and comprehensive settlement, including institutional, political and security issues.
The previous round of the 5+2 talks was held in Brussels in October of this year. It followed a high-level meeting between Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and the Transdniestrian leader Yevgeny Shevchuk.