CHISINAU, July 29. /TASS/. Leader of the unrecognized Transnistria Republic Vadim Krasnoselsky highlighted the efficiency of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the region and congratulated the peacekeepers on the anniversary of the peacekeeping operation held under Russia’s aegis.
"I bow my head to the peacekeepers in respect. You have brought peace to our land and have safeguarded it. Meanwhile, we are doing everything possible to shield the peacekeeping mission from defamation by those who do not want to live in tranquility. We won’t yield to the onslaught of instigators and aggressors. There will be peacekeepers and peace in Transnistria," he vowed on his Telegram channel.
Transnistria, a largely Russian-speaking region on the left bank of the Dniester, broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It acted against Moldova’s radical politicians who demanded the republic’s exit from the Soviet Union and its unification with Romania. Clashes later erupted in Bendery claiming the lives of over 600 people. Overall, more than 1,000 people died in the armed conflict while tens of thousands of others suffered in the fighting and fled the region.
The fratricidal bloodshed came to end after the presidents of Russia and Moldova signed an agreement on a peace settlement to the conflict in Moscow in July 1992. According to the deal, the Russian peacekeepers were introduced into the security area drawn along the Dniester. They are currently maintaining peace in the region together with the ‘blue helmets’ from Moldova, Transnistria and a group of military observers from Ukraine.
Not a single outbreak of violence has been recorded in the area since then, which has provided the groundwork for Chisinau and Tiraspol to hold negotiations with the mediation of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), Russia, Ukraine, and US and EU observers on the peaceful settlement to the conflict.
The Moldovan authorities have proposed reshaping the current peacekeeping arrangement in Transnistria and transforming it into a civilian police mission under the OSCE aegis. Chisinau also insists that Russia must comply with its commitments assumed at the 1999 OSCE summit and withdraw its troops from Transnistria.
Tiraspol categorically objects to the pullout of the Russian troops as it considers them the guarantor of peace in the region. In 2017, the arc dubbed "Blessed Are the Peacekeepers" was installed at the entry to the city of Bendery near a bridge across the Dniester that witnessed the bloody battles in the summer of 1992. A monument to Russian General Alexander Lebed was also erected nearby to honor the commander who stopped the bloodshed.