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Dodon dubs Sandu’s statement on Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria as mistake

Dodon voiced regret that Sandu reneged on her pre-election pledge to cooperate with Russia

CHISINAU, November 21. /TASS/. Moldovan President-elect Maia Sandu’s statement about the Russian peacekeepers’ withdrawal from Transnistria was a serious mistake, Incumbent President Igor Dodon said in a televised interview for the NTV Moldova broadcaster on Friday, commenting on Sandu’s interview with the Ukrainian daily European Truth.

"She has already said that the peacekeepers should be urgently removed from the banks of the Dniester River and that the Ukrainians need to put more pressure on Transnistria, Donbass and so on. Was that the call of president-elect of the country where the Transnistrian conflict has not been resolved and where 35-50% of the Russian-speaking population live? I view her words as a serious mistake," Dodon said pointing out that most Moldovans support a balanced foreign policy of good relationships with both the West and the East.

Dodon voiced regret that Sandu reneged on her pre-election pledge to cooperate with Russia.

"She made a U-turn in two to three days. Believe me that the citizens who made a choice in her favor will realize that and will regret it," he stressed.

"Should the future president pursue an anti-Russian policy, nothing good will come out of it either for the country or that politician. At the level of the country, we will compensate for that at the parliament and government and will pursue a balanced policy," Dodon concluded.

Moldova held the runoff presidential election on November 15. On Friday, the Central Election Commission confirmed that Sandu had won 57.7% of the vote whereas incumbent President Igor Dodon secured 42.2% Dodon’s term in office expires on December 23. Following this date, he will continue as acting head of state until the president elect is inaugurated.

Transnistria, a mostly 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, tensions erupted into a bloody armed conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides.

The fratricidal war was stopped after a peace agreement was signed in Moscow and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict zone on July 29, 1992 under the Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Dniester Region of the Republic of Moldova. The agreement was signed on July 21, 1992 by the Russian and Moldovan presidents in the presence of the Transnistrian leader. Currently, Russian peacekeepers are ensuring peace in the security zone disengaging the parties to conflict on the Dniester, alongside peacekeepers from Moldova and Transnistria and a group of military observers from Ukraine.