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Moldovan police take registration number off Transnistria top diplomat’s car

The foreign minister of the breakaway republic was not in the car when it was stopped by police

CHISINAU, June 8. /TASS/. Moldovan police officers have taken the registration number off the office car of the breakaway Transnistria’s foreign minister, saying it contradicts Moldovan standards, patrol police press secretary Natalya Golovko told reporters on Thursday.

She said the minister was not in the car when it was stopped by police. The Foreign Ministry of Transnistria confirmed the incident, saying it will later issue a statement. It said that previously, the registration number of Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatyev’s car had invited no questions from Moldovan police when he repeatedly met with Moldovan officials.

Tensions in relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol have increased over the recent months. This came after the Moldovan authorities’ decision to establish control over the Transnistrian section of the border with Ukraine. Tiraspol saw it as a new attempt of a blockade. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over tensions in the region, urging an early meeting in the 5+2 format (Moldova, Transnistria as parties to the conflict, the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine as mediators, and the European Union and the United States as observers).

Transnistria, a largely 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 in 1992 and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict area. Negotiations on the conflict’s peaceful settlement known as the 5+2 format talks started after that.