Moldovan president tells NATO over half a million Moldovans held hostage in separatist Transnistria

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Friday, April 4, 2008

In his speech at NATO's 2008 Bucharest summit on Thursday, the President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin asked for international support in solving the Transnistrian conflict and in overcoming polemics with regard to Moldova's national identity and present borders.

The president said Moldova does its utmost to attract the international community's attention to the uncertain situation created by the conflict in the country's eastern region, which over the last 16 years, has remained a zone of instability, which affects regional security.

Transnistria is a region, roughly between the Dniester river and Ukraine. It declared its independence in 1992, but is not recognised as such by any state or international organisation and lies entirely within the internationally recognised borders of Moldova. The region has organised itself as a republic under the name Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. It has been de facto independent since a ceasefire in July 1992 and Moldova exercises no control over the region. The Joint Control Commission has maintained a buffer zone ever since the War of Transnistria.

Voronin said the Transnistrian problem fuels a potential of insecurity and instability not only for Moldova's territory, but also for the whole region, and is still unsettled. He called attention to the regional-scale effects of this conflict, saying that it blocks Moldova's modernization, as well as the interference of Transnistria-related problems with up-to-date international security issues, such as the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty), NATO's extension, anti-missile defense systems in Europe and Kosovo are obvious, Vladimir Voronin specified.

Map of Moldova, highlighting the break-away region, Transnistria.

Vladimir Voronin reaffirmed Moldova's official position at this important event, which debates security issues: "We want to identify a viable solution to the Transnistrian problem, which should be focused on the demilitarization and the prohibition of foreign troops and military facilities on our national territory, in line with the recognized status of Moldova's neutrality, as well as giving a fair status to the Transnistrian region within a sovereign, indivisible and territorially united Moldova."

"The Republic of Moldova continues to be the only Eastern European state politically and territorially divided with over half a million Moldovans held hostage by a separatist regime," President Voronin said.

The president reiterated that 17 years after the proclamation of Moldovan independence, it seeks the support of the international community in order to avoid destructive polemics on our national identity and present borders. Doing so will help Moldova focus on their pro-European aspirations. He also called for greater involvement by all sides for the recognition of Moldova's neutrality and promotion of the country's reintegration on the basis of the international law.

During the NATO summit, Vladimir Voronin held discussions with President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. The officials focused on Moldova's cooperative ties with Latvia and Lithuania and the prospects of extending and deepening the country's collaboration with the two Baltic states.

The Moldovan president thanked both the Latvian authorities and the Lithuanian leadership for the firm support given Moldova to make the country's European integration choice come true. The head of state stressed the Moldovan side's increased interest in continuing cooperation in the field of promoting the European standards by taking over the advanced European integration experience of the two states.

According to the final declaration of the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the member states of NATO support territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova. "We are worried because the regional conflicts persist in the south of Caucasus and Republic of Moldova. (…) we will continue to support the efforts to get to a peaceful resolution of these regional conflicts, taking into account these principles", it is mentioned in the text.

President Vladimir Voronin returned to Chisinau Thursday evening.


Sources

External links

Wikipedia Learn more about Transnistria and 2008 Bucharest summit on Wikipedia.


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