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

Neutrality versus territorial integrity of Moldova

The weakening of the Russian “tutelage” over the Transnistrian problem naturally contributes to implication of other international players interested in the European space security.
Denis CENUŞĂ, 10 August 2010, 14:59

Owing to the mutual liking between Russia and the European Union's "driving forces" headed by Germany, Brussels's prospects of being actively involved in the Transnistrian conflict settlement double thanks to Chisinau's will. Although the external context is undergoing a very thorough change, the problem remains hooked on its old parameters with Tiraspol deliberately paralyzing the negotiations and consciously exhausting the efforts made by foreign partners of the pro-European government.

Encouraged by Moscow's indulgence and support, the Transnistrian region's unconstitutional administration manages to distance from the extensive transformations carried out on the "right bank of Dniester" substituting them for the gradual intensification of harmonization with Russian realities (especially in the legislative field and in social and economic policies).With the Moldovan authorities together with the Europeans searching for the proper ways to resume the talks suspended in 2006, Russian officials support the separatist regime in every possible way neglecting Moldova's territorial integrity and their own multiple obligations undertaken on the international level. Adhering to its plastic and dual position, Russia is projecting a strategic space to be able to manipulate the Transnistrian problem for the geo-political purposes starting from the preservation of influence in the former allied republic and ending with the promotion of the Russian project of removing the pan-European security architecture in favor of the Russian supremacy on the ex-Soviet space.

The Romanian-phobia and "petrifaction" of neutrality

The visit of Grigory Karasin, the deputy head of the Russian diplomacy, brought the light to the Russian temporary plans regarding the Transnistrian problem. Before and after the meetings in Chisinau on 26-28th of June, the Eastern neighbor indicated two vital indispensable conditions for the Transnstrian settlement: consolidation of sovereignty and "coagulating" of neutrality [1]. The solicited bases represent an extension of the anterior requirements partially reviving clauses of the passed away "Kozak Plan". More than that, the petitions revive the obsolete message of the moldovan Communists who used to suggest signing of some obligatory "guarantees" regarding preservation of Moldova's neutrality by the most influential international players. The Communists sought for limitation of the Western factors' influence on the local decisions by making the neutrality permanent. Basing on the same ideas Moscow wants to dose and even to restrict Chisinau's "games" with the West inspiring an "isolating" and "introverted" approach. Aware of the fact that inclusion of "neutrality" into the negotiation package contravenes the previous agreements and the Moldovan sovereignty, Russia anticipates possible complications about the Chisinau political forces' potential of invalidating the country's neutral status by means of the constitutional referendums. To strengthen the neutrality's immortality, Russian mediators want to supplement the eventual "veto power" attributed to Tiraspol after the country's reintegration with the additional legal obligations undertaken by Chisinau.

Another clause that has been actively supported by the Russian authorities stipulates consolidation of "sovereignty" that has been somewhat weakened by the embrace of the pro-Romanian current of some of the liberal-democratic government's components. The uncontrolled multiplication of contacts between the two banks of the Prut river is qualified by Moscow as a source of evil for the Moldovan-Russian relations and as an impediment for the Transnistrian conflict settlement.

Attraction of some former representatives of Romania's state structures to the Moldovan political processes (appointment of Dan Dungaciu, the former State Secretary of Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry, as a President counselor), stagnation of signing of the basic Moldovan-Romanian treaty, unjustified opening of access to Moldovan citizens' personal data for the Romanian authorities as well as documents issued by Chisinau officials (such as the controversial decree on declaring the Soviet Occupation Day) give rise to suspicions in Moscow about the functionality of the Moldovan state's sovereignty. No one from the East wants revision of the regional geo-political map by local "political parts". Therefore, waving the Transnistrian settlement, Russian officials want to keep Moldovan sovereignty out of the Romanian factor. At the same time, by means of the forced cementation of "neutrality" Russia wants to stop creation and manifestation of the Euro-Atlantic aspirations omnipresent in Chisinau's new power structures intensified simultaneously with Moldova's "European integration".

The Transnistrian Conflict Out of the Kosovo Context

The focusing on "neutrality" and "sovereignty" left apart the positive conclusion of the International Justice Court (IJC) regarding the declaration of independence of the Serbian province (February 17, 2008) enlivening separatist manifestations in the Transnistrian region.

The Moldovan-Russian discussions' agenda lacked the recently resurrected Kosovo problem treated by the Tiraspol administration as a clear premise for validating the Transnistrian region's separation [2]. Moldovan officials as well as Russian officials headed by Karasin hesitated to contest the separatist authorities' solicitation as to the Kosovo precedent. More than that, several days have passed since the publication of the separatist authorities' Declaration regarding the IJC's conclusion, while Chisinau still hasn't given a response that would object and neutralize in absolute terms the Transnistrian speculations.

It's logical that Chisinau's negligence is contraindicated for the general Transnistrian conflict settlement process as it undermines the incontestability of Moldova's territorial integrity.

In general terms, the Moldovan authorities' behavior when it comes to the Transnistrian problem is questionable. It is characterized by the fact that Chisinau continues having a timid position regarding the violation of human rights in the Transnistrian region or the enormous political and social-economic assistance provided to the region by Moscow.

Despite these deficiencies, Moldovan negotiators will base on intensification of measures to raise trust between the "banks", on internationalism of the Transnistrian problem settlement and on expansion of the EU's participation. At the same time, Russian efforts will be focused on impregnation of neutrality and sovereignty with the irreversible and sustainable character to minimize deepening of the dialogue with Romania and other Western players which are not convenient for Russia.


1. About the work visit of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia G.B. Karasin to Moldova

2. The statement of the ministry of foreign affairs of the transnistrian moldovan republic in connection with the United Nations International Court's decision regarding Kosovo


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