The Pridnestrovian People’s Forum (PPF) sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a request asking to prevent the “intensification of the blockade of Transnistria by Moldova and Ukraine”, as stated by the PPF’s Coordination Council, which unites the largest public organizations of the unrecognized republic, and is chaired by Moldovan President Vadim Krasnoselsky.
“We appeal to you, esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich, to prevent another spiral of tension surrounding Transnistria which is expressed in systematic blockade actions by Moldova and Ukraine with direct support from the European Union, as well as the OSCE mission in Chisinau,” the message states.
According to the PPF, the Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities, under the financial and expert supervision of the EU, have begun to implement customs and border control on Transnistrian section of the Ukrainian border. The document highlights that these actions do not have Tiraspol’s consent, and are being done in violation of the agreements which were achieved in the “five plus two” format (Moldova, Transnistria, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from the US and EU).
As the message notes, the actions of Kyiv and Chisinau could lead to an annual loss of $40 million for Transnistria’s economy, approximately one fifth of the consolidated budget and nearly 10% of the residents of the republic will be deprived of work and means of existence. “As an end result this will be a humanitarian catastrophe with negative consequences arising,” the letter says. Its authors expressed fear that the presence of Moldovan law enforcement structures on the border with Transnistria in the absence of Russian peacemakers “pose a direct threat of the escalation of the confrontation between the conflicting sides, and a broader destabilization of the situation in the region”.
The PPF sent similar appeals to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Federation Council Chairperson Lyudmila Matvienko, State Duma Spokesperson Vyacheslav Volodin, and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. Furthermore, letters will be forwarded to the Council of Europe, the OSCE, as well as the heads of the accredited diplomatic missions in Moldova.
In February this year, during a visit to Kyiv, Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip agreed to establish joint control of the Transnistrian section of the border with Ukraine. Tiraspol interpreted this as an attempt to exert economic pressure. The Russian foreign ministry expressed concern that the tension in relations between Moldova and Transnistria may escalate, and called for a new round of negotiations to be convened in the “five plus two” format.