TIRASPOL, September 7. /TASS/. The Moldovan authorities have banned delegates from Abkhazia and South Ossetia from entering the country in the next 10 years, Transdniestria’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The delegates attended celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Transdniestria on September 2. "On September 3, the delegations headed by Abkhazian Vice President Vitaly Gabniya and South Ossetia’s Foreign Minister Kazbulat Tskhovberov, who participated in celebrations devoted to the 25th anniversary of the founding of Transdniestria, were subjected to searches and questioning at the Chisinau airport," the statement noted. The delegates later left Moldova, but were banned from entering the country for 10 years.
Transdniestria’s foreign ministry said that Moldova’s Vice Premier Viktor Osipov, tasked with overseeing the process, earlier assured the republic’s foreign minister Nina Shtanski that guests arriving to partake in the celebrations will be guaranteed free movement. "However, promises made by the Moldovan side were later recalled unilaterally already after guests arrived under the pretext that international delegations undermined Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by appearing in Tiraspol," the document stressed.
The foreign ministry stressed that "such steps are very dangerous for prospects of cooperation between the sides in different formats" calling for all interested international partners to "assess Moldova’s illegal and self-depreciating actions on limiting Transdniestria’s contacts."
The left bank of the Dniester River, which is home mostly to the Russian-speaking population, was proclaimed the Transdnietrian Republic on September 2, 1990 after the rise of the national movement in Moldova, which proclaimed reunification with Romania as its goal.
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the confrontation between Transdniestria and Moldova in 1992 took the form of an armed conflict, which was stopped thanks to the efforts of the Russian peacekeepers.
Since 1993, Chisinau and Tiraspol have been holding negotiations to settle the conflict. Moldova offers Transdniestria a "special autonomy status". Tiraspol’s authorities insist on the republic’s independence and closer relations with Russia, saying this was the wish of 97% of local residents at the 2006 referendum.