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Transnistria’s president-elect confirms plans to enhance strategic partnership with Russia

December 12, 2016, 16:04 UTC+3 TIRASPOL

The president-elect of the self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria says he is ready to resume negotiations on the Transnistria settlement with Moldovan leaders

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Tiraspol, Transdniestria

Tiraspol, Transdniestria

© EPA/STRINGER

TIRASPOL, December 12. /TASS/. President-elect of the self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselski, confirmed plans on Monday to strengthen strategic partnership with Russia and stabilize national economy.

Speaking at a press conference after Sunday’s elections, Krasnoselski said he plans to "pay his first visit as the republic’s head to Moscow."

Krasnoselski, the parliamentary speaker of Transnistria’s parliament, won the first round of presidential election in the unrecognized republic securing more than 62% of the votes. The incumbent President Yevgeny Shevchuk garnered less than 28% of the vote. The voter turnout at polls was nearly 60%.

"We will continue defending the choice of Transnistria’s people who called at a referendum for independence with further joining Russia which is our key strategic partner. We will work on the integration of our economy in the Eurasian economic space," Krasnoselski said.

Another important task is to stabilize the economy, which remains in a difficult situation, he said. "In this case, we hope to have the expert support of Russia." "As for Moldova and Ukraine, we want to build good neighborly relations with them."

Talks with Moldovan authorities

Krasnoselsky has said he is ready to resume negotiations on the Transnistria settlement with Moldovan leaders.

"We are ready for talks. However, not everything depends on the president in Chisinau. The pro-European majority is exercising control in the Moldovan parliament," Krasnoselsky stated at his first press conference, commenting on a proposal by Moldova’s new President Igor Dodon who had said that he would visit Tiraspol after his inauguration.

"We fear that a struggle between the two branches of power will break out in Chisinau. The most important thing for us is that it should not affect Transnistria," Krasnoselsky explained.

The new republic’s leader added that during the talks he would push for the lifting of economic barriers and eliminating stumbling blocks set up by politically-motivated criminal cases. He also pledged to remove restrictions on the movement of people and goods.

"We do not support a discussion of Transnistria’s status, which is being imposed on us, and intend to seek the implementation of previous agreements. Time will tell," Transnistria’s newly elected president said.

Vadim Krasnoselsky, the parliament speaker of Moldova’s unrecognized republic of Transnistria, has won the first round of the Transnistrian presidential election, a source at the republic’s Central Electoral Commission told TASS on Monday.

"Vadim Krasnoselsky chalked up more than 62% of the votes and was elected Transnistria’s president in the first round. His chief rival - the incumbent President Yevgeny Shevchuk - lagged behind with slightly less than 28%," the Central Electoral Commission, which is finishing the vote count, clarified.

The official preliminary results will be announced later.

Krasnoselsky’s election headquarters carried out a parallel vote count from all the polling stations last night.

"The figures which we received from the polling stations after the vote count match the forecast of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, which had predicted our candidate’s victory in the first round. Vadim Krasnoselsky garnered 62.3% of the votes (156,600 people) compared to 26.2% of the votes (65,500 people) chalked up by incumbent President Yevgeny Shevchuk," a source at Krasnoselsky’s election headquarters clarified.

Previous reports made with reference to the research center’s polls said that 69.8% voted for Krasnoselsky and 18.8% for Shevchuk. The winning candidate for the Transnistrian presidential bid needs to garner 50% of the votes plus one. Another four presidential nominees who ran in the December 11 race included Deputy Oleg Khorzhan, Transnistria’s Communist Party leader, who was considered to be the favorite; Vladimir Grigoryev, a former Constitutional Court chairman; Alexander Deli, the republic’s prosecutor, and the last contender, Irina Vasilakiy, who had been unemployed prior to her presidential bid, chalked up an insignificant number of votes.

The final turnout, according to the Central Electoral Commission preliminary count, stood at 59.16%.

Transnistria, a largely Russian-speaking region, broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its relations with Moldova’s central government in Chisinau have been highly mixed and extremely tense at times ever since then. In 1992 and 1993, the tensions erupted into a bloody armed conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides.

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