Moldova and Ukraine want to block Transdniestria, an unrecognised republic which is officially part of Moldova, and destroy a peacekeeping format involving Russia, Vitaly Ignatiev, the republic’s acting foreign minister, said in an interview published by the Moldavskie Vedomosti (Moldovan News) newspaper on Friday.
Kiev and Chisinau have blurred prospects for negotiations on a Transdniestria settlement, Ignatiev said, according to the report. “Moldova, Ukraine and in many cases the European Union do not deem it necessary to consult with Transdniestria even if the decisions they make directly touch the republic’s interests.”
Governments in Kiev and Chisinau have established joint control on the Kuchurgany crossing point on the Transdniestrian section of the Moldova-Ukraine border, the report went on.
Despite Transdniestria’s opposition to the decision, Moldovan customs officers would be deployed at all Ukrainian border checkpoints in 2016. “That will totally block all imports from Transdniestria and change the entire architecture of interaction in the field of economy, freedom of movement and security between Transdniesteria, Moldova and Ukraine,” Ignatiev said in the report.
“We will not come to terms with a new configuration of our foreign trade activities that imposes additional restrictions,” he added.
Russian peacekeepers in Moldova
Joint peacekeeping forces of Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria, as well as a group of military observers from Ukraine are now maintaining peace on the two banks of the Dniester River. No violence outbreaks have been recorded in the region during their presence, which allowed Chisinau and Tiraspol to negotiate peaceful settlement of disputes.
Moldova says the conflict is over and calls for changing the existing peacekeeping format by deploying an international mission of OSCE observers. Transdniestria says Russia’s military presence in the unrecognized republic guarantees its security.