UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Moldova demands the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria, Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip said, addressing the UN General Assembly on Friday.
"Taking into account the commitments of the Russian Federation, the fundamental principles of international law, as well as the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova… we strongly reiterate the demand to withdraw completely, unconditionally the so-called Russian Operational Group, successor to the former Soviet Army 14, staying illegally on the territory of the Republic of Moldova," Filip said.
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.
In late August, Moldovan Permanent Representative to the United Nations Victor Moraru sent a letter to the UN Secretariat, saying that Moldova intended to raise the issue of foreign troops' withdrawal at the 72th Session of the UN General Assembly. The Moldovan Foreign Minister then stated that the initiative did not relate to the Russian servicemen involved in the tripartite peacekeeping contingent in the Transnistrian security zone.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov called the demand by the Moldovan authorities a provocative initiative, neglecting the real reasons for the presence of Russian limited military contingent in the area.