In Strasbourg, Moldovans demand withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria
Over 20 Moldovans rallied in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Tuesday demanding the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria. The protesters, mainly students studying in Strasbourg and Paris, were carrying placards with messages against Russia - "Non à l'agression russe en Moldavie", "Russia stop killing Moldovan people", "Russian army, go home!”
The same day, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution where, among other requests, the body demanded the withdrawal “without further delay” of the Russian troops stationed on the territory of Moldova which – according to the Constitution - is a neutral state.
“The Assembly calls on the Russian authorities to complete the withdrawal of the remaining Russian military forces and their equipment from the territory of the Republic of Moldova without further delay,” PACE said in their resolution.
Nicolae Dragomir is one of the demonstrators in front of the Council of Europe headquarters. He welcomes the Council’s call to Russia.
“It is good that the Council of Europe demands the withdrawal of the Russian troops. Therefore, the Moldovan officials will also be obliged to openly demand this thing,” Mr. Dragomir said.
According to a press release, the protesters’ message was heard by both PACE deputies and journalists who received flyers with information about their anger with Russia.
Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized entity proclaimed in Tiraspol on September 2, 1990, initially styled the Moldavian Transnistrian Soviet Socialist Republic. Currently known as the Moldavian Transnistrian Republic, this breakaway entity consists of a narrow strip of land (180 km by 32 km) nestled between the east bank of the Nistru River and the border of Moldova with Ukraine, on a small part of what used to be, between 1924 and 1940, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1992 escalated a conflict between Moldova and Russia over this territory. A cease-fire was signed the same year by president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and president of Moldova Mircea Snegur. An agreement to withdraw all Russian forces from the trans-Nistrian districts of the Republic of Moldova was signed by Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin in 1994. It stipulated that the 14th Army was to leave the Republic of Moldova within three years, but the agreement was never ratified by the Duma, Russia’s legislature.
The Transnistrian conflict settlement is made within the “5+2” format. It includes representatives of the sides, mediators and observers in the negotiation process - Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE (as mediators), and the US and the EU (as observers).Moldova.ORG