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July 12, 2013

Moldovan premier invites Romanian counterpart to pipeline start

Moldovan premier invites Romanian counterpart to pipeline start

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Friday, July 12, 2013

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Moldovan premier Iurie Leancă
Image: Estonian Foeign Ministry.

During an official visit to Romania on Tuesday, Moldovan premier Iurie Leancă invited his Romanian counterpart, Victor Ponta, to attend Moldovan Independence Day on August 27. On that occasion, the two neighbouring countries are to start building a cross-border gas pipeline between cities Iași, Romania, and Ungheni, Moldova.

European Union (EU) commissioner for energy Günther Oettinger is also expected to attend the meeting. The Moldovan premier seeks support for EU visa facilitation for Moldovan citizens as well as economic and energy ties with the EU. Russian energy minister Aleksandr Novak declared in September 2012 that the Russian Federation agrees to lower gas prices for Moldova only if the ex-soviet republic denounces the Energy Community of South East Europe between the EU and eight non-EU countries including Moldova.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The latest Transparency International report on global corruption says Moldovan citizens report the second most widespread bribery of a European country. Moldovan politicians often accuse each other of being either under the influence of Russia — the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova; or under the influence of Romania and the EU — the Alliance for European Integration, the current government coalition. Russia maintains a motorized infantry battalion and some ammunition depots from the soviet era in Moldova’s breakaway Transdnestr region; Russian vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin said earlier this year Russia would continue these until the status of the region is settled. This situation has persisted for some time; in the OSCE Summit Declaration of Istanbul of 1999, Russia was to pull its troops out of Transnistria by the end of 2002.

Moldova also hopes to sign the European Union Association Agreement by the end of 2013.



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April 4, 2008

Moldovan president tells NATO over half a million Moldovans held hostage in separatist Transnistria

Moldovan president tells NATO over half a million Moldovans held hostage in separatist Transnistria

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Friday, April 4, 2008

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In his speech at NATO’s 2008 Bucharest summit on Thursday, the President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin asked for international support in solving the Transnistrian conflict and in overcoming polemics with regard to Moldova’s national identity and present borders.

The president said Moldova does its utmost to attract the international community’s attention to the uncertain situation created by the conflict in the country’s eastern region, which over the last 16 years, has remained a zone of instability, which affects regional security.

Transnistria is a region, roughly between the Dniester river and Ukraine. It declared its independence in 1992, but is not recognised as such by any state or international organisation and lies entirely within the internationally recognised borders of Moldova. The region has organised itself as a republic under the name Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. It has been de facto independent since a ceasefire in July 1992 and Moldova exercises no control over the region. The Joint Control Commission has maintained a buffer zone ever since the War of Transnistria.

Voronin said the Transnistrian problem fuels a potential of insecurity and instability not only for Moldova’s territory, but also for the whole region, and is still unsettled. He called attention to the regional-scale effects of this conflict, saying that it blocks Moldova’s modernization, as well as the interference of Transnistria-related problems with up-to-date international security issues, such as the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty), NATO’s extension, anti-missile defense systems in Europe and Kosovo are obvious, Vladimir Voronin specified.

Map of Moldova, highlighting the break-away region, Transnistria.

Vladimir Voronin reaffirmed Moldova’s official position at this important event, which debates security issues: “We want to identify a viable solution to the Transnistrian problem, which should be focused on the demilitarization and the prohibition of foreign troops and military facilities on our national territory, in line with the recognized status of Moldova’s neutrality, as well as giving a fair status to the Transnistrian region within a sovereign, indivisible and territorially united Moldova.”

“The Republic of Moldova continues to be the only Eastern European state politically and territorially divided with over half a million Moldovans held hostage by a separatist regime,” President Voronin said.

The president reiterated that 17 years after the proclamation of Moldovan independence, it seeks the support of the international community in order to avoid destructive polemics on our national identity and present borders. Doing so will help Moldova focus on their pro-European aspirations. He also called for greater involvement by all sides for the recognition of Moldova’s neutrality and promotion of the country’s reintegration on the basis of the international law.

During the NATO summit, Vladimir Voronin held discussions with President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. The officials focused on Moldova’s cooperative ties with Latvia and Lithuania and the prospects of extending and deepening the country’s collaboration with the two Baltic states.

The Moldovan president thanked both the Latvian authorities and the Lithuanian leadership for the firm support given Moldova to make the country’s European integration choice come true. The head of state stressed the Moldovan side’s increased interest in continuing cooperation in the field of promoting the European standards by taking over the advanced European integration experience of the two states.

According to the final declaration of the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the member states of NATO support territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova. “We are worried because the regional conflicts persist in the south of Caucasus and Republic of Moldova. (…) we will continue to support the efforts to get to a peaceful resolution of these regional conflicts, taking into account these principles”, it is mentioned in the text.

President Vladimir Voronin returned to Chisinau Thursday evening.



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March 7, 2006

Ukraine does not allow Transnistrian goods transit without Moldovan customs stamps

Ukraine does not allow Transnistrian goods transit without Moldovan customs stamps

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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

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On March 3, Ukraine instituted a new customs regime at the border with Transnistria. Under the order issued by Ukrainian Customs’ head, at the request of President Viktor Yushchenko, all the Transnistrian goods that are transported via Ukraine will have to be accompanied by customs documents released by the Moldovan authorities.

Ukraine PM Yuri Yekhanurov has charged the Foreign Ministry and the State Customs officials to render the account to the society for the goods circulation on the Transdniestrian frontier. “In January I met the businessmen and authorities from Moldova, Ukraine and Transdniestrian in Odesa. In the course of the meeting the sides voiced their precise positions towards the rules of the game,” noted PM of Ukraine speaking about the special terms of freight transportation via the territory of Moldova, Ukraine and Transdniestrian region. According to his words, the freight from Transdniestrian region will cross Ukraine only if it has Moldova’s stamp. “It means no additional taxes or excise,” stressed PM Yekhanurov.

Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the CFSP, welcomes implementation by Moldova and Ukraine of Joint Declaration on Customs: “I welcome that the Joint Declaration of the Ukrainian and Moldovan Prime Ministers of 30 December 2005 is now being implemented, whereby Ukraine only recognizes Moldovan customs stamps and Moldova facilitates the registration of Transnistrian enterprises in Chisinau. The implementation of this declaration is very important for the establishment of an orderly regime on the Ukrainian-Moldovan border to which the EU attaches great importance.” Solana added also: “I call on the economic agents of the Transnistrian region of Moldova to register with the relevant authorities in Chisinau in order to promote the unimpeded flow of goods across the border. I also call on the self-proclaimed Transnistrian authorities not to block this registration. … I condemn any efforts by the self-proclaimed Transnistrian authorities to impede the free flow of international trade.”

The so-called Transnistrian president Igor Smirnov qualified Kiev‘s decision as economic attack and called on the Ukrainian authorities to revise it so as to avert “a social-economic catastrophe” in the region.

Trade between Transnistria and Ukraine totals about US$400 million.

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November 1, 2005

Transdnestria is once again accused of selling weapons to Iraq

Transdnestria is once again accused of selling weapons to Iraq

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin accused the Transnistrian authorities on Saturday of having supplied Russian weapons to Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein, Russian news agencies have said.

Chisinau “holds official documents from the chancellery of Saddam Hussein, which show that Transnistria had supplied both arms, and entire weapon manufacturing lines to Iraq,” Voronin told a group of Russian journalists, adding that an investigation on this case is under way. “Russia’s control over this territory is obvious and we must call to account those who do not desire to solve this conflict”, Voronin added.

“About two billion dollars are being laundered every year in Transnistria and no one wants to give up this source so easily,” Vladimir Voronin said. Being asked what Russia must do to help solve the conflict, the Moldovan President said that it must take the munitions from that territory. “We consider this depot a political shield that supports the Transnistrian regime,” the President emphasized.

Voronin added Moldova can prove Tiraspol sold weapons to Iraq. The document from Hussein’s archive that can confirm this is being studied by the Moldovan authorities now, he said.

Voronin accused Moscow to settle this regional conflict, noting that Russian weapons are “a political coverage to protect the Transnistrian regime.” The Moldovan leader noted that he has sent a package of documents to Russia regarding the activity of 13 Transnistrian military companies.

On the other hand, Moldovan Premier Vasile Tarlev accused Thursday the Russian troops in Transnistria of supplying weapons to the Chechen region, In reply, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that he “pledges his head” for Russian bases in Moldova, and assured that “no weapons from Transnistria had been sent.”

Transdestrian reply

Of the Transdniestrian foreign department Vitalie Ignatiev said rumors about the illegal sale of weapons from Transdniestrian exist for more than 15 years but nobody could prove it. He has also refuted Moldovan Prime Minister’s statements and sought evidence…

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May 11, 2005

Soviet rockets on sale in Moldovan breakoff region

Soviet rockets on sale in Moldovan breakoff region

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Nuclear symbol

Three Soviet Alazan radioactive rockets from the Cold War era are reportedly for sale in the Moldovan Republic of Transnistria.

A Sunday Times reporter went undercover through a Transnistrian secret police office. Posing as a middleman for an Algerian Islamic group, the reporter met with an arms dealer, who offered to sell three of the rockets for US$500,000 (£263,000).

The Alazan is an 82mm diameter rocket originally developed to distribute cloud-seeding chemicals such as potassium or silver iodide. With a range of eight miles, the rockets could be used to contaminate an entire city center. These rockets were part of fifty thousand tons of equipment that Soviet forces left in the republic after the Cold War.

Some were converted into improvised munitions and modified to carry explosive warheads. Others were retrofitted with a warhead reputed to contain up to 400g of radioactive caesium-137 and strontium-90, to help scientists track clouds and other meteorological events.

The arms dealer offered to allow the reporter to inspect the rockets with a Geiger counter to confirm that they contained caesium and strontium.

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