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    President of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky

    Expelling Russian Troops From Transnistria May Worsen Conflict

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    Transnistria’s President Vadim Krasnoselsky said that without Transnistrian people’s will none of the Russian servicemen will be expelled from the region.

    TIRASPOL (Sputnik) – The implementation of the Moldovan Parliament’s declaration to withdraw Russian servicemen from its territory may exacerbate the long-standing conflict in the region, Transnistria’s President Vadim Krasnoselsky said Tuesday.

    In early May, Moldova's Constitutional Court said Russian soldiers’ presence in Transnistria was illegal. Last week, the country's parliament adopted a declaration on the withdrawal of those Russian troops that have been participating in a peacekeeping contingent in Transnistria since 1992.

    "For me personally the decision is not shocking. They traditionally do this: from year to year Moldovan politicians express their willing to expel Russians from our territory. Both recent decision by the Moldovan Constitutional Court and this parliament’s decision serve as a confirmation. It at least causes concerns as it leads to the escalation of the conflict. Expulsion of peacekeepers, Russian presence is a way toward war. This is unacceptable," Krasnoselsky said, as quoted by his press service.

    Krasnoselsky noted that it was impossible to talk about rapprochement between Tiraspol and Chisinau, as they had different political courses — the former favors Russia while the latter supports cooperation with the West.

    "We are committed to the Russian presence, and without Transnistrian people’s will none of the Russian servicemen will be expelled from here, I am sure about that," Krasnoselsky stressed.

    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 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 remains 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.

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    Vadim Krasnoselsky, Moldova, Transnistria, Russia
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