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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The presidents of Transnistria and Moldova met for the first time in 8 years


New, 2017 began a landmark for the entire post-Soviet space event which the holiday hustle and bustle has remained virtually unnoticed. 4 Jan Bender (the city under the jurisdiction of the PMR) held a meeting of the newly elected presidents of Moldova and Transnistria. Igor Dodon and Vadim Krasnoselsky talked about seemingly minor things: the free movement of people, rail traffic, recognition of Transnistrian diplomas and car numbers. Political issues were not discussed. However, this meeting can be considered a real breakthrough in resolving the conflict on the Dniester.

The leaders of Transnistria and Moldova — Vadim Krasnoselsky and Igor Dodon — thawed relations. Photo: presedintel.md

First of all, because the official meeting of top officials of the two pieces of the once unified Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was the first in eight years. Previous talks at the “highest level” was held on 24 December 2008, when Moldova and Transdniestria, headed, respectively, Vladimir Voronin and Igor Smirnov. Recall that the individuals in 2003 was nearly signed the so-called “Kozak Memorandum”, which could finally settle the Transnistrian conflict through the mediation and under the conditions of Moscow. But at the last moment the signing of the document was thwarted under pressure from Western States.

The analogy is obvious. We will remind that the leader of the Moldavian Communists Vladimir Voronin the time was considered very “Pro” and promised to put in Moldavia shield against NATO tanks. But over time it’s evolved into quite a Pro-Western policy, delivered the course of European integration of Moldova. And the signing of “Kozak Memorandum” tore it was he, not the Transnistrian leader, Igor Smirnov, has already been put under his signature. Now “Pro” is a Latino party Voronin, Igor Dodon. Although he constantly declares his intention to pursue a pragmatic policy based on maneuvering between Moscow and the West. As for Vadim Krasnoselsky, it is difficult to imagine a situation in which he would go against the wishes of Moscow.

Thus, the situation is extremely favorable to Moscow made a new attempt to find a solution to the Transnistrian conflict. What can be the compromise proposed by the Kremlin to Chisinau and Tiraspol? It will probably be the new reincarnation of the “Kozak plan” in some form. Let me remind you that under this plan, Moldova had become an “asymmetric Federation”, with Transnistria and Gagauzia received special status and the right to veto unwanted decisions. Moldova pledged not to abandon the neutral status, not to engage in military units and provide Russia the right to the stationing of Russian troops on the territory of Transnistria for 20 years as a guarantee for settlement of the conflict.

That the idea of such a compromise is in the minds of the Russian political class, evidenced at the feedback of the expert community on the news of the meeting of the two presidents. In the comments on this topic are increasingly heard the word “Confederation”. It looks like society is slowly accustomed to the idea that this is possible. It is not excluded that some patriots will see in these plans the “drain” of Transnistria. Leaves no room for illusions and the position of Moldovan President. For Igor Dodon and the territorial integrity of Moldova — not negotiable. He recently said: “it is Necessary that in Transnistria understand that a second Kaliningrad of them will not work. Independence has never been recognised”. Dodon expressed a number of proposals to address the issue. According to him, the agreement can be items that Transnistria and Gagauzia have the right to self-determination if Moldova loses statehood or to join NATO. Thus removed the fears of Transdnestr about possible becoming a part of Romania. All this actually resembles the provisions of the “Kozak plan”.

However, be aware that the Moldovan President is not free in their actions. His powers are severely limited by Parliament, which is currently in the hands of Pro-Western forces. From the point of view of these forces, even talking about the federalization of Moldova are hardly treason. In Chisinau, Dodon have been criticized for meeting with the head of the PMR.

In addition, the “Kozak plan”, in my opinion, not so much “Pro” as it seems at first glance. The interests of the inhabitants of Transnistria it is not guaranteed. Even if all the required items will be included in the settlement agreement that would prevent Chisinau to break them when the circumstances are right? In addition, after the annexation of Transnistria in Moldova Chisinau is the first thing you want to do a “reformatting” of the Transnistrian elite. Known methods: bribery, blackmail, political repression and even “accidental” killings, disguised as shootouts. So, as is happening now in Ukraine with the active participation of Western “advisers”. So it may happen that, when Moldova, for example, will gather NATO, in Tiraspol will not be anyone left to remember that Transnistria has the right to secede in this case. So whoever intends to “push” PMR in Moldova, should remember that he, as a sapper can be mistaken only once.

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