CHISINAU (Sputnik) – Moldova's Foreign Ministry suggested to Russia on Thursday that its military forces refrain from taking part in Victory Day Parade in Tiraspol, citing Russia’s commitment to remain neutral in Transnistria conflict.
"The Russian side was proposed to refrain from such actions [namely, participating in Victory Day Parade in Tiraspol], citing the provisions of the existing Russian-Moldovan agreement from June 21, 1992, which provides for the Operational Group of Russian Forces to remain neutral," the Moldovan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The statement noted that Elena Kopnina, charge d'affairs of the Russian Embassy, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Chisinau earlier in the day in the light of the events which "influence relations between Russia and Moldova as well as settlement of Transnistria issue".
Transnistria, a region with a predominantly ethnically Russian and Ukrainian population, is a self-proclaimed republic that seceded from the Soviet Republic of Moldova in 1990 for fear of a possible reunion with Romania.
The Operational Group of Russian Forces has been deployed in Transnistria since 1992, when Moscow and Chisinau signed an agreement, formally approved by Tiraspol, which confirmed the conflicting sides’ willingness to get Russia involved in the conflict settlement.
The same agreement marked the start of the ceasefire to the Transnistria war. However, the conflict remained unresolved.
Since 2005, the talks on Transnistria conflict settlement have been held in the 5+2 format, which, apart from Transnistria and Moldova, includes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States as mediators. The latest round was held on June 2-3, 2016 in Berlin.
In 2016, the Operational Group of Russian Forces was involved in the parade in Tiraspol for the first time.