Transnistrian separatists refuse to recognize peacekeeping body's decisions
Representatives of the Transnistrian customs body have said that the body's subdivisions, which had been illegally set in the security zone, do not recognize the documents concerning the rights and operation of the peacekeeping forces and will continue to hold and check peacekeepers.
The statement was made at an 11 February meeting of the Joint Control Commission (JCC, a trilateral peacekeeping body), during which the detention of Moldovan chief peacekeeper Aurel Fondos in the security zone by Transnistrian bodies was discussed.
All attempts by the delegations of Moldova, Russia, the OSCE and Ukraine to receive some explanations from Transnistria concerning the position of its customs body failed.
Moldova's co-chairman in the JCC, Ion Solonenco, said that "this proves once again that the Transnistrian law enforcement agencies ignore not only the peacekeeping forces in the security zone, but also the agreements on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Moldova's security region". "This position of the Transnistrian law enforcement bodies does not ensure the security of peacekeepers and destabilizes the situation in the security zone," Solonenco added.
For his part, Russia's co-chairman in the JCC, Sergey Gorlov, described Transnistria's actions as a dangerous precedent which points out the need to carry out a thorough analysis of the status of peacekeepers in the security zone.
The Russian and OSCE representatives in the JCC drew the Transnistrian delegation's attention o the fact that according to international documents, peacekeepers carrying out their mission in any country are not subject to customs or migration control.
Transnistria's co-chairman in the JCC, Oleg Belyakov, gave assurances that all measures would be taken to prevent similar cases from the Transnistrian bodies, including those that had been illegally set in the security zone.
Facts about Transnistria: Internationally unrecognized entity proclaimed in Tiraspol on 2 September 1990, initially styled the Moldavian Transnistrian Soviet Socialist Republic. Currently known as the Moldavian Transnistrian Republic, or MTR, (Russian name: Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublika or Pridnestrovie), this breakaway entity, referred to in many sources as Transnistria or Transdniestr, consists of a narrow strip of land (180 km by 32 km) nestled between the East bank of the Nistru River (Russian: Dniester/Dniestr/Dnestr River) and the border of Moldova with the Ukraine on a small part of what used to be, between 1924 and 1940, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The separatist authorities in Tiraspol exert their rule over five Soviet-style districts—Camenca, Dubăsari, Grigoriopol, Râbniţa, and Slobozia—comprising a total population of 555,500 (2004 est.). Except for nine villages bordering the east bank of the river (Malovata Nouă, Cocieri, Coşniţa, Doroţcaia, Pârâta, Pohrebea, Roghi, Vasilevca, and Corjova), the area controlled by the MTR includes all of Moldova's land on the east bank of the Nistru. On the river's west bank, the self-proclaimed MTR controls the city of Tighina. See more info on Transnistria.