Moldova Protests Russia Drills in Breakaway Transnistria

The Joint Control Commission (JCC) convened in Bender on Thursday in response to a protest lodged by the Moldovan government against recent Russian military exercises conducted at peacekeeping mission posts.

The Moldovan delegation called for the dismantling of illegally installed checkpoints erected by the unrecognised armed forces of Transnistria.

JCC members emphasised the need to dismantle these checkpoints, arguing that they hinder the free movement of citizens and violate the established security zone regime. The Moldovan government delegation further pointed out that the exercises conducted by the Russian peacekeeping contingent violated the documents governing the joint peacekeeping mission on the Nistru River and had not been approved by the commission.

Regarding the request from the Tiraspol administration to establish a new peacekeeping mission post, the Moldovan delegation firmly rejected the proposal, citing its prior rejection in 2012. Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Serebrian, speaking at a government meeting the previous day, alleged that the purpose of the exercises was to generate panic and social unrest.

The security zone along the Nistru River is patrolled by 15 joint peacekeeping mission checkpoints staffed by contingents from Russia and Moldova, alongside Transnistrian paramilitaries and Ukrainian observers. Two days prior to the JCC meeting, Russian troops conducted drills simulating the repulsion of attacks on these checkpoints.

The Moldovan government has previously petitioned the UN for the unconditional withdrawal of the Russian military and the transformation of the peacekeeping mission from a military to a civilian force. The Council of Europe considers Transnistria to be an occupied region. Russia pledged 25 years ago to evacuate its ammunition and military presence from eastern Moldova.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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