Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Grigory Karasin, expressed Moscow’s concern over the lack of progress in the negotiations on the Transnistrian issue, stating that the Ukrainian position has a negative impact on the situation in the region.
"The change of Kiev's position on the Transnistrian issue supports the delay of an appointment of a new Ukrainian representative in the "5 + 2" negotiation that was supposed to happen in May of 2015. We are concerned about the fact that in 2015 not a single meeting was held that followed the negotiation format," Karasin said in an interview with Interfax.
He accused Kiev of moving away from being the "impartial moderator in the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol" and towards "intimidation of the international community by the alleged Transnistrian military threat and pronounced economic and transport 'strangling' of Transnistria."
"This pressure has seriously aggravated the already difficult socioeconomic situation in Transnistria," the Russian diplomat said.
According to Karasin, the tension may increase "with the implementation of the plans of Moldova and Ukraine to create an organization of joint customs and border controls in relation to Transnistria."
"In particular, this means that starting January 1st, 2016, Ukraine and Moldova will change the scheme of passage of goods imported into Transnistria. According to Tiraspol, the additional tax burden on the Transnistrian enterprises will exceed $4 million," said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Transnistria is a Russian-backed breakaway region in eastern Moldova, and Russian soldiers are currently stationed in the area. The Moldovan government doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the republic, and insists on the withdrawal of Russian forces.