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KIEV, June 5. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Kiev will not let Russian peacekeepers move to Transdniestria through its territory.
"We have no obligation to let through Russian military and we will not be doing that," he said, adding that Ukraine was determined to strictly abide by international commitments in that respect.
"I see no grounds for an escalation [of tensions] there [in Transdniestria]," Poroshenko said.
The Ukrainian parliament on May 21 voted for severing the treaty with Russia on the transit of military to Moldova. The governments of Russia and Ukraine back in 1995 concluded an agreement on transit through Ukraine of Russian military units stationed in the territory of Moldova on a temporary basis.
The Ukrainian parliament explained it was severing that agreement because it was fraught with a direct threat to the national security and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Transdniestria’s Foreign Minister Nina Shtanski said Ukraine’s refusal to let through Russian military was upsetting the peacekeeping format in the region and jeopardizing Kiev’s role in Transdniestrian settlement talks. She said that "any action aimed at shaking loose the peacekeeping format in the security zone of the Dniester conflict is impermissible."
For its part, Transdniestria’s president Yevgeny Shevchyuk said that the abrogation of the transit agreement pursued the aim of ousting Russian peacekeepers from the region.
"As far as I understand, the purpose of these moves is clear: creation of conditions for ousting the peacekeepers in the context of calls for changing the format of the peacekeeping operation that can be heard from Moldovan officials now and then," Shevchyuk said.
Joint peacekeeping forces of Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria, as well as a group of military observers from Ukraine are now maintaining peace on the two banks of the Dniester River. No violence outbreaks have been recorded in the region during their presence, which allowed Chisinau and Tiraspol to negotiate peaceful settlement of disputes.
Moldova says the conflict is over and calls for changing the existing peacekeeping format by deploying an international mission of OSCE observers. Transdniestria says Russia’s military presence in the unrecognized republic guarantees its security.