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Full-blown military conflict in Transnistria unlikely — opinion

August 11, 2015, 9:50 UTC+3 NEW YORK
However, in such a tense environment, even skirmishes could spiral out of control, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe says
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Karpov

NEW YORK, August 11. /TASS/. A full-blown military conflict in Moldova’s much-troubled breakaway Transnistria (Dniester) region is unlikely at the moment but even episodic incidents may push the situation out of control, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, former Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjorn Jagland said in an article published by The New York Times.

"At this stage, a full-blown military conflict is unlikely but, in such a tense environment, even skirmishes could spiral out of control," Jagland said.

"Many in Moldova worry that Transnistria could become the next Crimea, an anxiety that has been further fueled by appeals for Russian protection from some of the province’s civic groups," he said.

"Transnistria’s leaders complain that Moldova is conspiring with Ukraine to keep them under economic blockade and have now ordered Transnistrian army reservists between 18 and 27 to mobilize," Jagland wrote.

In July, authorities in Transnistria, a predominantly Slavik region that has been seeking independence for itself since 1991, increased the age making one eligible for conscription to the Army to 27 years old.

"Drafting shall be done throughout the 2015 calendar year," the President of the unrecognized republic, Yevgeny Shevchuk said in a decree.

In a parallel decree, he declared the drafting of reserve officers that will also be done throughout 2015.

Tensions between the Moldovan authorities and the Dniester region reached their peak in the spring of 1992 and erupted into a bloody armed conflict, which claimed several hundred human lives and left thousands of people wounded. Tatiana Turanskaya, the Dniester Prime Minister says combat actions in the summer of 1992 took away more than 800 lives of residents of the Dniester region.

Moldovan authorities did not release official statistics on the losses on their side but a monument to the dead policemen and volunteers put up in downtown Chisinau contains the names

The Dniester conflict was brought to a halt after an agreement on peaceful settlement principles. Today peace in the zone of security is guarded by joint peacekeeping forces consisting of the Russian, Moldovan and Dniester military as well as by a group of Ukrainian military observers.

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