Tiraspol, Transnistria. In a move sure to be copied by Donbass residents seeking integration with the Russian Federation, residents of Transnistria have petitioned for Moscow’s intervention in their situation.
In Transnistria, leaders of the Pridnestrovian People’s Forum (PPF) have sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a request asking him to prevent the “intensification of the blockade of Transnistria by Moldova and Ukraine”, as stated by the PPF’s Coordination Council, which unites the largest public organizations of the unrecognized republic, and is chaired by Moldovan President Vadim Krasnoselsky.
“We appeal to you, esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, to prevent another spiral of tension surrounding Transnistria which is expressed in systematic blockade actions by Moldova and Ukraine with direct support from the European Union, as well as the OSCE mission in Chisinau,” the message states.
Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities, under the financial and expert supervision of the EU, have begun to implement customs and border control on Transnistrian section of the Ukrainian border.
The document highlights that these actions do not have Tiraspol’s consent, and are being done in violation of previous agreements which were achieved in the “five plus two” format, which includes; Moldova, Transnistria, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from the US and EU.
The actions of the Ukrainians and Moldovans have an annual projected loss calculation of $40 million dollars for Transnistria’s economy, approximately one fifth of the consolidated budget and nearly 10% of the residents of the republic will be deprived of work and means of existence.
“As an end result this will be a humanitarian catastrophe with negative consequences arising,” the letter says. Its authors expressed fear that the presence of Moldovan law enforcement structures on the border with Transnistria in the absence of Russian peacemakers “pose a direct threat of the escalation of the confrontation between the conflicting sides, and a broader destabilization of the situation in the region”.
The PPF sent similar appeals to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Federation Council Chairperson Lyudmila Matvienko, State Duma Spokesperson Vyacheslav Volodin, and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. Furthermore, letters will be forwarded to the Council of Europe, the OSCE, as well as the heads of the accredited diplomatic missions in Moldova.
In February of this year, during a visit to Kiev, Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip agreed to establish joint control of the Transnistrian section of the border with Ukraine. Tiraspol interpreted this as an attempt to exert economic pressure. The Russian foreign ministry expressed concern that the tension in relations between Moldova and Transnistria may escalate.