29 October 2020

Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises


20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

Last week illustrated

Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Transnistrian "labyrinth" and Chisinau „confusion"

Resumption of political dialogue between the two banks of the river Nistru still faces obstacles caused by the indolence of illegitimate authorities of Tiraspol, but also by the small interest designed on the process of negotiations by Moscow.
Denis CENUŞĂ, 3 May 2010, 11:40

The arrangement of the Moldovan journalist's arrest accused of "high treason" of the regime in Tiraspol or intimidation against schools teaching in Latin script, from Tighina city, falters the fragile balance established after the Communist governance recession. However, the communication between "conflicting parties" records progresses, although modest, on the other ways. Thus, the Transnistrian part expresses interest for cooperation in environmental and agricultural area (identification and destruction of pesticides and other harmful chemicals; decontamination of pesticide storage spaces, inventory of agricultural land and even taking-over agricultural experience by the specialists from the Transnistrian region from the right bank of Nistru river, etc.). Certainly these questions were on the agenda of the working group profile, which met on April 23 this year in the OSCE Mission in Chisinau, operating within the platform designed to strengthen trust between the two sides. Furthermore, the Tiraspol administration affirms that there haven't been blockades in this area and are doubtful to be in the future.

Tiraspol's attention towards to environmental and agricultural needs exceeds much the support for the political aspects of the Transnistrian issues. Further, the Moldovan authorities unofficially reject the nature and context of the tripartite document signed by Medvedev, Voronin and Smirnov in Moscow in March 2009. The reticence about this statement is the fact that some forces within the current governance are against the positive role of Russian peacekeepers, at the same time vehemently reject any kind of parity with the Transnistrian administration in the negotiation process. Tiraspol's arguments are based on the fact that: it hasn't been completed the process of power formation on the right bank (failure in electing the President of the country); it is not given an equal status with Chisinau to the table of negotiations; it is not respected the principle of continuity of the previously signed documents. As how much would Smirnov regime insist, this position is anachronistic, having one destructive and other insidious sides. But, the separatist authorities report that they will neglect the political negotiations, till the new President of Moldova will be designated. False connections on the anticipated elections allow the separatist governance to flinch from negotiations for an indefinite period of time, simultaneously to recover the illusion of a "political immaturity and instability" of the political system from the right bank of the Nistru. Perhaps, from the indisposition to accept any rules of the game imposed by obscure groups from Transnistrian region, Moldovan officials tend to overlook both the requirements regarding the positions equalization in the negotiations deliriously claimed by these, and the intensity and level of decline in human rights domain. It is surprisingly, but the line of comportment adopted by the Chisinau is acceptable for other actors of the „5 +2" format. Moscow turns out to be more than happy about any restraint across the Transnistrian conflict that is postponing its resolution because it contributes to the maintaining of a regional convenient status quo of Russian interests.

The Western tactics imply multidimensional connection of the two banks of Nistru river, by building a bridge necessary for non-political reintegration, using the efficient binding means incorporated in confidence strengthening measures. The analysis of the current situation shows that the option of the Western countries imposes risks related to the exclusion of political perspective of conflict settlement. The dosing of constraints applied to Transnistrian authorities through the suspension of travel interdiction imposed by the European states proved to be meaningless and unconvincing. Following that Tiraspol initiated „Vardanean case" and defied repeatedly the authorities in Chisinau. This time the infringement of human rights and freedoms on the left bank of Nistru River is not only an expression of the basics of the criminal political regime, but also a form of separatist powers' resistance against the initiatives of political reintegration.

„Stay calm" or the lack of attitude of Chisinau

The fragmentized, incoherent and incomplete position of Moldovan authorities towards the illegal arrest of Moldovan citizen, Ernest Vardanean, revealed once again the weaknesses of Chisinau, incapable to prevent or to react correspondingly to the challenges of separatist authorities. Willing to hide its huge complexes, Moldovan government has justified its lack of action using the suggestion of the European countries to act „calmly", without understanding though the diplomatic substrate of this syntagm. Or, the European partner suggested giving up the aggressive rhetoric or the repressive actions by the constitutional power of the R. Moldova. Finding itself in a crisis of image, of political capacity and full credibility at international level (particularly in its relationship with the Russian Federation), the liberal-democratic coalition adopted „the ostrich policy". Without making any visible efforts, the government seems to deliberately accept the consumption of the event, hoping that the decrease of the public interest for the „case of Moldovan journalist" will lead to the release of the latter. Despite knowing about the dependence of Transnistrian state on the Russian state and church, no appeal to these institutions has been made by Chisinau. The international circumstances, which imply a more cooperating Moscow's attitude towards the external world, improved under the influence of political effects of Polish tragedy, political change in Ukraine and the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the „Great Victory" have not been used either. Ignorance is also shown within the country, where there are no discussions at the governmental level about the journalist, who has been sequestrated de jure and de facto by the criminal regime led by I. Smirnov. There is total silence about other significant issues related to the safety of Vardanean's family, the measures of prevention and regulation of similar cases, but also about the situation of schools in Tighina.

The abandonment of Transnistrian issues must not be left on the account of deficiencies in the formulation of clear, solid and unified position of the governing coalition. Or, the internal political disputes concerning the appointment of diplomats in the capitals of the actors involved in the negotiation format 5 +2 "(U.S., EU), misinterpretation of recommendations made by external partners (or, rationalizing the official position does not mean decreasing its activity, intensity and continuity) as well as the revision of the external approach to the Transnistrian conflict introduce a "tornado of circumstances" that alter the paradigm of Transnistrian issue essentially. Thus, immediately after his visit to Brussels, V. Osipov raised the idea of transferring the issue of the conflict on Nistru river to the range of conflicts in the South-Eastern Europe, known for the combination of the "Balcan syndrome" (starting of ethnic and religious conflicts) but uncharacteristic for the exclusively political and ideological-propagandistic Transnistrian conflict. At the same time, Russia shapes a renewed context for the settlement of Transnistrian conflict, trying to change the rules through a bilateral Russian - Ukrainian formula in interaction with the malleable Ukrainian President V. Yushchenko (who has recently made a huge cessation in the strategic issue of extending the stationing of Russian maritime fleet in Crimea until 2042). Before that, Moscow officials decided to replace the Special Representative of the Russian MFA responsible for the Transnistrian problem, Valeriu Nesterushkin, who held this position for 6 years. Or, Russia plans to make institutional and regulatory negotiations arrangements (by arranging the signing of a Russo-Ukrainian document with the Ukrainian President V. Yanukovych in May this year), and making changes within its own subjects of negotiations (giving up the services provided by the experienced Nesterushkin in favor of another character).

With an uncertain position in a completely ambiguous environment, our government makes gaffes in the process of Transnistrian settlement. Under the conditions of a strategy of Moldovan reintegration, which according to authorities is being developed, they casually legitimize the actions of the Tiraspol administration, urging it to review its attitude towards Vardanean case because of the "lack of offense components", since the journalist was not part of any Transnistrian structure. Moreover, the accusation raised by the Moldovan Vice Prime-minister, Victor Osipov, against some unknown forces who, through "the incident involving the Moldovan journalist", wanted to compromise Tiraspol authorities, brings Chisinau into disrepute because it would attempt to justify a long series of crimes committed on the left bank of Nistru river (since 1992).

Finally, Moldovan government officials must develop complex efficient mechanisms (with economic, social, humanitarian, including political components) to prevent the violation of human rights in Tiraspol, based on coherent internal and external discourse and political behavior, transparency and interaction with the media and the civil society on both banks of Nistru river, as well as with the international organizations.


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