CHISINAU, September 27. /TASS/. Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky thinks it necessary to preserve the peacekeeping mission with Russia staying on as a peace guarantor in the region.
"Russia’s peacekeeping mission together with peacekeepers from Moldova and Transnistria is being carried out in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Certainly, this is a very important mechanism of the Joint Military Command and the Joint Control Commission. They are guided, among other things, by the work of the Russian envoy, and you are applying great efforts in order to preserve the peacekeeping mission on the Dniester banks, thus preserving peace," Krasnoselsky’s press service quoted the head of the self-proclaimed republic as saying in a conversation with Russian Ambassador to Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov. The Transnistrian leader noted the high level of constructive interaction and mutual understanding with the Russian envoy, stressing that his diplomatic mission is being carried out during a difficult time in history.
In turn, the Russian diplomat noted regular contacts and open dialogue with the Transnistrian leadership. He assured that he will do his utmost effort to help preserve peace in the region.
Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the Transnistrian conflict zone under the July 21, 1992 agreement with Moldova on the principles of peaceful settlement of an armed conflict in Transnistria. They brought to a halt combat between the Moldovan police and Transnistrian people’s militia. Currently, the Russian military is maintaining peace in the region along with Moldovan and Transnistrian Blue Helmets.
There is also the Operational Group of Russian Forces in the region, which consists of about 1,000 soldiers and officers guarding warehouses where more than 20,000 tons of munitions are stored after being brought there following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from European countries. The disposal and retrieval of ordnance were blocked in 2004 after relations between the Dniester's two banks aggravated. Additionally, the forces support the peacekeepers who have been practically stranded after Ukraine blocked off their supply routes through its territory.
Chisinau insists both on withdrawing the Russian operational group and on replacing the peacekeepers with a civilian mission under an international mandate. However, Tiraspol reiterates that in 1992, such a mission did not prevent the armed conflict which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people and tens of thousands wounded or displaced.