In an interview with RIA Novosti, Moldovan President Igor Dodon called the Moldovan government’s initiative to withdraw Russian forces from Transnistria “yet another anti-Russian démarche”.
Dodon emphasized that the decision to discuss the withdrawal of Russian forces in the UN “will remain only at the level of a declaration”.
“The Moldovan government has been going in reverse for a long time, after recognizing the mistake, that the peacekeeping operation on the Dniester cannot be touched, and has adjusted its declaration. This demonstrates the unprofessionalism of the Moldovan officials,” the president said.
He stressed that the withdrawal of Russian forces does not conform to Moldova’s interests and is not supported by most of the Moldovan people.
Earlier the Moldovan government launched an initiative to have the Russian forces withdrawn from Transnistria. Before this, the country’s parliament adopted a declaration on the necessity for Russian soldiers to leave the region. A significant portion of the parliament is composed of MPs who are opposed to the president’s party.
Later the Moldovan mission to the UN proposed the inclusion of the point “a full withdrawal of foreign armed forces from Moldovan territory” in the general assembly’s agenda.
The Russian Foreign Ministry interpreted this as a hostile step, and summoned the Moldovan ambassador to Moscow.
The Russian forces in Transnistrian territory are there on the basis of the Moldovan-Russian agreements from 21 July 1992, to stop the armed conflict in Transnistria.
The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic is an unrecognized state on the left shore of the Dniester river. Chișinău considers Transnistria a part of Moldova, but does not control the republic’s territory.
The unrecognized republic’s population consists mostly of Moldovans, Russians and Ukrainians. Each ethnic group makes up roughly 30% of the population, and the languages of all three groups are recognized as official languages.