Kiev appears to have implemented an economic blockade with neighboring Transnistria and is pushing the breakaway Moldovan region to accept Chisinau’s conditions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, at the current stage, Ukraine’s role over the last year in efforts in regard to the Transnistria settlement hasn’t been as balanced as it should be being a moderator and guarantor [in the conflict],” Lavrov said during a joint press conference in Moscow with Gabonese Foreign Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet.
The Russian foreign minister added that Ukraine “has acted and continues to act in the organization of something similar to an economic blockade to Transnistria” and “is using ultimatums to satisfy those who want the likelihood of Moldova’s association with the European Union [to transpire] by making the Transnistrians accept the conditions that Chisinau is putting forward.”
Lavrov pointed out that Ukraine and Russia are not only moderators, but also guarantors in the conflict between Chisinau and Tiraspol and that the United States, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are observers. Transnistria is located between the left bank of Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. It declared independence from Moldova in 1990. Some 60 percent of its population are Russians and Ukrainians.
In 1992, after after the War of Transnistria, Moldova lost authority in the left bank, and Transnistria was no longer controlled by Chisinau.
While seeking international recognition, Transnistria is designated by Moldova as an autonomy within a single state. Peacekeeping missions maintain stability in the region.
Russia’s rouble crisis threatens support for rebel republic Transnistria, published in The Guardian, Feb. 20, 2015
Pro-Russian region of Transnistria claims “blockade” as Moldova signs EU deal, published in Business News Europe, July 2, 2014
NATO and Moldova discuss ways to strengthen partnership
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Moldovan Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici to NATO on Monday (16 March 2015) for talks on strengthening the partnership between the Alliance and Chisinau. Calling Moldova “a valued NATO partner”, the Secretary General underlined that “all NATO Allies support Moldova’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and respect its constitutional neutrality.”
During their meeting, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General took the next step towards establishing a Defence Capacity Building Initiative for Moldova. “This initiative will help your country modernize the defence and security sectors,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. He further noted that Moldova has agreed to an “impressive” Individual Partnership Action Plan with the Alliance, and the NATO remains committed “to support Moldova in all reform areas it has chosen.”
“We believe that developing our cooperation further will benefit both Moldova and NATO,” the Secretary General said; adding “through cooperation with NATO, Moldova can make its armed forces even more professional, and make a stronger contribution to peace.”
Mr. Stoltenberg also thanked the Prime Minister for Moldova’s contribution to NATO’s KFOR mission in Kosovo. “Everything you do shows that Moldova is a real contributor to peace and stability and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area,” he said.