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Another sneaky peek across the border into Moldova

August 7, 2014

Toward the end of June this entry was published relating to Moldova  (and by extension Transnistria), Russia, and the 5+2 talks, as well as any respective successes and failure -s and who would be to blame etc.

 

“September therefore would provide for the negotiations taking place at the beginning of the electoral campaign cycle – and throwing a spanner into the works of the existing pro-European majority at this time via the 5+2 negotiations – as well as gas, economic and social shenanigans undoubtedly – may just be enough to tip the scales away from another pro-European parliamentary term.

For The Kremlin, to throw spanners into the 5+2 negotiations in July, either directly – unlikely – or via instruction to Transnistria to do so, and inferring (pro-European) Chisinau inability/fault for the results (or lack of) – would seem premature considering the far greater impact that can be had by doing so at the start of parliamentary election campaigning in September.

Something to keep a watchful eye on perhaps?”

 

Unsurprisingly, now The Kremlin begins its maneuvers as the entry anticipated.  This from the Russian MFA a few days ago:

 

Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the current situation around the Transnistria peace process  1852-04-08-2014

We are following the development of the situation around the Transnistria peace process with concern.

Coordinated actions by Moldova and Ukraine to implement the economic and transport blockade of Transnistria in the attempt to force it to climb down in the negotiation process, refuse from foreign policy priorities will cost the escalation of the situation around this region.

In parallel, at summit level Kishinev makes appeals for the removal of Russian troops, another splash of discussions regarding the need to change the status of the peace-keeping operation on the Dniester, to transform it into some civil mission is observed. Against this backdrop, the degree of discussion within the framework of the Joint Control Commission is raised artificially. Under the pretext of Ukrainian events, they create obstacles for communication with the left bank of Dniester through the Ukrainian territory. There are threats of denunciation of respective Russian-Ukrainian agreements. Throws of disinformation into the mass media regarding alleged supplies of weapons from Transnistria to the conflict area in the South-East of Ukraine continue. The works to build an excavated anticrossing ditch in the Transnistrian section of the Moldavian-Ukrainian border, which Kiev started “for security purposes”, provokes escalation of tensions.

As we warned our partners in the negotiation process – Ukrainian, OSCE representatives, as well as OSCE and European Union observers – today all the mentioned trust-destroying actions can become a deadlock in the negotiation process. Kishinev and Kiev should be aware about their direct responsibility for the potential negative consequences of the step they make to spin the situation.

As to Russian peacekeepers, they ensure security in the area of their responsibility on an international legal basis and a respective mandate. They fulfil their mission in good faith and unselfishly. They are strong not because of their number, but because of the trust they have earned among the population.

Any non-constructive actions aimed at destabilisation of the situation in the region, any attempts to squeeze Russian forces, which are part of Joint Peacekeeping Forces, from Transnistria, will be perceived as unfriendly actions against Russia, which disrupt the foundations of the peace-keeping operation on Dniester and are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Agreement on friendship and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova.

4 August 2014″

 

That the word “destabilisation” appears in the final paragraph comes as no surprise – it is indeed a veiled threat.

As previously written in the aforementioned blog entry months ago “economic and social shenanigans undoubtedly“.

Thus the Transnistrian government and public, together with Communist activists in Moldova, are likely to be whipped up into something far more feisty than they normally are over the next 12 weeks, facilitating Russian military muscle flexing in its “peacekeeping” role during the Moldavian electioneering period.

A nuanced and smaller scale version of the circumstances created to surround the Ukrainian presidential elections in May with respect to a fidgety and posturing Russian military positioned at porous and less than robust borders.

That the 5+2 talks will continue to go nowhere fast is expected.  They have never really gone anywhere.  The Kremlin has nothing to be gained by changing the status quo – and the subservient Transnistrian leadership have no interest in alienating The Kremlin by failing to carry out its will.

It can only be hoped that others within the 5 +2 format can see the writing that is clearly on the wall, and are thus assisting the Moldavian authorities in preparations to mitigate what seems a very real engineered destabilising possibility over the coming autumnal period.

Meanwhile, Ukraine puts trenches between its Odessa and Transnistrian border.

trench

 

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