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Moldovan President condemns calls for withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Transnistria

The mission, together with the "blue helmets" of Moldova and Transnistria, was deployed in 1992

MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon has condemned the government’s request to curb Russia’s peacekeeping operation in the buffer security zone of the Transnistria conflict.

"I am convinced that as long as there is neither a sustainable and viable political solution to the Transnistrian problem, nor a mechanism for maintaining peace and stability in the post-conflict period, it is only populists or deliberate provocateurs who can speak about wrapping up the existing peacekeeping operation, thus aiming to destabilize the situation in Moldova and the entire region," he said on Wednesday, addressing State Duma MPs.

The Moldovan President recalled that the peacekeeping mission involving Russia has been successfully operating on both banks of the Dniester for many years. "Over the last twenty six years, we can outline the following key results of the peacekeeping operation: revival of a peaceful atmosphere, creation of conditions for a political process of negotiations, no crises that could lead to the use of weapons between parties to the conflict. Hence, no matter how hard critics in the country and abroad try, Moldovan citizens know for sure that peace on the Dniester had been restored thanks to the current peacekeeping operation," Dodon said.

In June 2018, the Moldovan government succeeded in getting a resolution on the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers from Transnistria, which had been passed by a majority of votes at the UN General Assembly. Moscow in turn noted that this initiative ran counter to the OSCE’s efforts aimed at the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

Russia’s peacekeepers together with the "blue helmets" of Moldova and Transnistria had been deployed to the zone of the Transnistrian conflict in line with an agreement signed with Moldova "On principles of the peace settlement of the armed conflict in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova" as of July 21, 1992. Since then peace has prevailed there with no casualties reported.

The Moldovan government, controlled by the coalition of pro-European parties, seeks to replace the current peacekeeping operation in Transnistria with a civil mission under international mandate - an initiative, strongly opposed by the Transnistrian authorities, because they see them as guarantors of peace in the region.

Dodon, who won both the nationwide presidential election on November 13, 2016 and the parliamentary election of the head of state, has also spoken in favor of restoring relations with Russia, and proposed signing a joint declaration on strategic partnership.