Moscow opposed to attempts to withdraw Russian peacekeepers from Transdniestrian conflict zone

The Russian Foreign Ministry is opposed to the attempts to transform the peacekeeping operation in Transdniestria into a definite peace guarantee mission and says this will not help achieve the rapid resolution of the Transdniestrian conflict.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is opposed to the attempts to transform the peacekeeping operation in Transdniestria into a definite peace guarantee mission and says this will not help achieve the rapid resolution of the Transdniestrian conflict.

"Clearly, the main motivation of the political forces advocating the transformation of the existing peacekeeping mission is not the achievement of peace and stability in the Dniester River region but the wish to withdraw the Russian peacekeeping contingent from the conflict zone at any cost," says a report posted on the ministry website.

"Will it accelerate the settlement process? We are confident it will not," the ministry stressed.

"Certain political forces in Europe remain possessed by the idea of transformation of the peacekeeping operation in Transdniestria into a kind of peace guarantee mission," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The question was asked again lately, during a Brussels roundtable called "Reform of the Peacekeeping Mission in Transdniestria" which was attended by representatives of various political forces and movements," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the mandate of the existing peacekeeping mission has yet to be completed.

"The ongoing operation in Transdniestria is unique: not a single peacekeeper has died and not a single serious clash has occurred in the past 22 years," it noted.

Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria, which set up the joint peacekeeping mission, and Ukraine, which joined them in a later period, agreed that the mission would be reformed in the case of political agreements reached in the Transdniestrian peace process, the ministry pointed out.

"The parties almost arrived at that point in 2003 but the Moldovan side missed the opportunity with the direct interference of Brussels and Washington and the signing of a document known as the Kozak Memorandum was thwarted," it said.

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