July 26, 2012 17:01
Tiraspol objects to peacekeepers' pullout from Transdniestria
TIRASPOL. July 26 (Interfax) - Transdniestrian President Evgeny Shevchuk says there are no prerequisites for ending the peacekeeping operation in the Transdniestrian conflict zone or changing its format.
"We strongly object to the pullout of peacekeeping forces and a change of the peacekeeping operation format," he told a Thursday press conference in Tiraspol dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the peacekeeping mission.
He linked the need for continuing the peacekeeping operation with the absence of prerequisites for solving the problem of the Transdniestrian status.
Transdniestria puts an emphasis on the solution of socioeconomic affairs at the negotiations with Chisinau, because it is impossible to achieve full settlement of the conflict without that, he said.
"There are no prerequisites for solving political problems now. There are still serious disagreements between the sides. We do not support the putting of political items on the agenda, because we deem that premature," he said.
It is now important to create favorable conditions for people, Shevchuk said.
He expressed hope that socioeconomic interaction with Chisinau would be more productive in the period of Ukraine's chairmanship of the OSCE next year.
Ukraine is not only a neighbor of Transdniestria but also a guarantor of the Transdniestrian-Moldovan negotiations together with Russia.
Speaking of the peacekeeping mission, Shevchuk said, "This is a unique peacekeeping operation. It is the only peacekeeping force in the world incorporating contingents of the conflicting sides."
There are Russian, Moldovan and Ukrainian contingents in the joint peacekeeping force stationed in the Transdniestrian conflict zone, as well as a group of Ukrainian military observers. The deployment of the peacekeepers began on July 29, 1992.
The deployment started after then Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his Moldovan counterpart Mircea Snegur signed the Moscow Agreement on Principles of the Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Transdniestrian Region of the Republic of Moldova in the presence of then Transdniestrian President Igor Smirnov.
"This is an important event for the Transdniestrians: that was a decision of the Russian authorities to defend our citizens," Shevchuk said.
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