Moldova reiterates illegality of Russian troops’ stay on its territory

Moldova’s Permanent Mission to the OSCE drew the participating states’ attention to the fact that Russia inadequately makes reference to the 1992 agreement on the principles of peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict within the annual exchange of military information. Ambassador Victor Osipov raised the issue at the Forum for Security Cooperation, reiterating that the Operational Group of Russian  Forces stays illegally on Moldova’s territory and should be unconditionally withdrawn together with the possessed armament and munitions stockpiles, IPN reports.

According to Moldova’s Embassy in Austria, Ambassador Victor Osipov said the text of the document contains no mention that could be interpreted as acceptance of the foreign military presence. Moldova makes a clear difference between the Russian military contingent of the peacekeeping mission working in the Security Zone and the military forces and munitions staying illegally on its territory.

Ambassador Osipov reminded that the last time the necessity of unconditionally withdrawing the Russian troops and munitions was stipulated in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution of June 22, 2018. Earlier, the Russian Federation undertook this commitment by signing the Declaration of the OSCE Istanbul Summit. The fact that there is no legal reason for the stay of this military contingent in Moldova is proven by the bilateral agreement on its pullout signed with Russia on October 21, 1994, even if the latter hasn’t ratified it.

Victor Osipov requested noting, in the journal of the Forum for Security Cooperation’s meeting, the unacceptability of invoking the agreement of 1992 in the reports on the Russian military presence in Moldova.

Russia’s delegation for military matters only explained that the legal arguments belong to the relevant Russian ministry and they will inform this about the fact that Moldova’s Mission challenges them.