CHISINAU, June 9. /TASS/. The Russian diplomats expelled from Moldova have been excluded from the Joint Control Commission (JCC) overseeing the peacekeeping operation in Transnistria, which consists of representatives of Chisinau, Tiraspol and Moscow, the Moldovan government’s Bureau of Reintegration reported on Friday.
"The defense attache at the Russian embassy, Colonel Igor Dovbnya, his deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Grudin, and Major Dmitry Raevsky have been excluded from the JCC. Representatives of the Russian delegation were excluded due to the completion of their mission," the report said. At the suggestion of Russia’s representatives, Pyotr Urzhumov, a senior adviser at the Russian Embassy, was confirmed as a JCC member.
Representative of the Transnistrian delegation to the JCC, Vasily Vakarchuk, told reporters that the incident had effectively blocked the commission’s work. In his view, "this is another step towards undermining the existing format of the peacekeeping operation."
Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the Transnistrian conflict zone under the Agreement on the Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict of the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova signed on July 21, 1992. They are currently located in the security zone separating the parties to the conflict along with the blue helmets from Moldova and Transnistria.
On May 29, Moldova’s authorities declared five Russian diplomats persona non grata. They have already left that country. The Russian Foreign Ministry came up with a tit-for-tat move declaring five employees of the Moldovan diplomatic mission in Moscow persona non grata.