New tension on the Transnistria border

Published on 20 June 2013 at 14:22

Having recently found its way out of a political deadlock and having just terminated negotiations on a free-trade agreement with the European Union, Moldova is rattled by fears of a military confrontation. "Moldavia fears possible renewed military hostilities, says Moldovan daily Jurnal de Chişinău, on June 20, ahead of a parliamentary debate regarding "how to respond to the provocation of the authorities of Tiraspol," the capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria.

On June 10, the Supreme Soviet, or parliament, of the pro-Russian province unilaterally re-drew the border with Moldova. This moved three villages that were previously designated Moldovan, into Transnistria. In April, Transnistrian military forces tried to install sentry boxes in the village of Varniţa, now located along the new border but the villagers forced them out.

Meanwhile on May 1, the Moldovans installed new border check points along the Transnistria border in order to conform to European standards.

For the paper, Russia, which maintains a peace-keeping force in Transnistria, takes a dim view of the free-trade and free movement agreement reached between Moldova and the EU, because it fears that large numbers of Transnistrians will ask for Moldovan citizenship:

Receive the best of European journalism straight to your inbox every Thursday

In a press release reminiscent of the beginnings of the 2008 Georgia War [over South Ossetia], Moscow is calling on Chisinau and Tiraspol to "abstain from unilateral actions that could lead to a conflict." But it does nothing to persuade Transnistrian President Yevgeny Shevchuk to end the expansion.

Another Moldovan daily Timpul notes that the Varniţa incident is "a sword of Damocles," because the Shevchuk Decree, ratifying the Supreme Soviet's decision to retrace the border, will enter into force on June 24 –

Will Russian peace-keeping troops intervene if the aggressors, Transnistrian soldiers, occupy Varniţa? […] The Shevchuk Decree is a permanent declaration of war.


Was this article useful? If so we are delighted!

It is freely available because we believe that the right to free and independent information is essential for democracy. But this right is not guaranteed forever, and independence comes at a cost. We need your support in order to continue publishing independent, multilingual news for all Europeans.

Discover our subscription offers and their exclusive benefits and become a member of our community now!

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Join our community!

On the same topic