The adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova” is an important step in the efforts to strengthen and protect the country’s integrity, Prime Minister Pavel Filip stated in a press briefing on June 23, being quoted by IPN.
“The adoption of this resolution does not necessarily mean the immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops. For us, it is important that this subject, which since 2003 disappeared from the agenda of the meetings of the OSCE Ministerial Council, was put again on the table of the international community. And we will not stop here. By the adopted resolution, we will make sure that this issue remains on the agenda of the international community until the last Russian soldier leaves. Moldova deserves to be respected,” said the Premier.
The Moldovan authorities insist on the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Operational Group of Russian Forces that is illegally stationed on Moldova’s territory, not the Russian military contingent of the peacekeeping forced on the Nistru, deployed in accordance with the Moldovan-Russian ceasefire agreement of 1992. “Sometimes, this Group is deliberately mixed up with the contingent of Russian peacekeepers so as to cause confusion and to mislead the public opinion,” said Pavel Filip, noting that the Russian peacekeeping mission should be transformed into an internationally mandated civil mission because the first exhausted its mandate and no longer needs to be maintained.
Pavel Filip also said that Moldova repeatedly expressed its concern about the intensification of the exercises performed by the Operational Group of Russian Forces in concert with the Transnistrian militia in the recent past. This creates new tensions in the region, implicitly in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. The last moves by armored tanks in the Security Zone were detected this morning, at 4am. Asked if the Government of Moldova excepts a harsh diplomatic reaction from Russia, Pavel Filip said Moldova made an approach to defend the country’s dignity because it should be treated with respect by everyone.
Pavel Filip thanked the states that by their vote supported the resolution, especially the co-authors of the document, namely Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK. Also, the countries that voted against or abstained show that more communication is needed and this makea the Government of Moldova to be more committed to an intense foreign dialogue.
The UN General Assembly on June 22 adopted a resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova” that was proposed by Moldova. A number of 64 states voted for, 15 voted against, while 83 states abstained.
Though Russia repeatedly pledged to withdraw its troops from Moldova until 2003, it pulled out only a part of its armament and munitions. Thus, about 1,500-1,700 Russian soldiers of the Operational Group of Russian Forces and over 21,000 tonnes of munitions stored in Cobasna remain in the Transnistrian region.