Igor Botan: Resolution adopted by UN is very indulgent and apparently favorable to Russia

The UN resolution titled “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of the foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova” that was proposed by Moldova is very indulgent and apparently favorable to the Russian Federation because this stipulates the withdrawal of the troops stationed illegally on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, but we cannot write “withdrawal of the occupation troops” in the Constitutional Court’s judgment. The resolution avoids raising the issue of the withdrawal of the peacekeeping forces and modification of their format. It thus seems that the authorities recognize the Russian Federation as an occupant state, but simultaneously plead for keeping Russia in the peacekeeping format, Igor Botan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy “ADEPT”, stated in the public debate “(Political, economic, social, international) consequences of UN discussion on the withdrawal of the foreign army from Moldova’s territory” that was held by IPN Agency and Radio Moldova.

According to Igor Botan, the document adopted by the UN contains only one valuable element, namely the phrase “unconditional withdrawal” of the Russian troops. This detail shows that Moldova got tired of waiting for Russia to fulfil the commitments undertaken at the 2002 Porto OSCE Summit, where the Russian diplomatic service ably managed to persuade the U.S. to tie the withdrawal of the Russian troops to the consent of the Transition region that is managed by a separatist regime. However, nothing happened since then as the Transnistrian administration, even if it pledged to discuss problems faced in several areas with the other sides in the 5+2 format, it categorially refuses to consider political subjects. The resolution that is historical for our country, as the government of Moldova said, is designed to strengthen the Moldova – Georgia – Ukraine trilateral relationship and to show to the whole world that Russia has a similar behavior in practically the whole region, which is it maintains separatism, recognizes separatist entities and annexes territories (Crimea).

The standing expert of IPN’s project said the resolution of the UN General Assembly is a very important document as this subjects was discussed by the UN General Assembly for the first time in history. In this connection, it is very important to see how the international public opinion crystalizes and what attitude the UN member states will adopt to the presence of the Russian troops and the Transnistrian issue. To understand this problem, they should start from the Convention of July 21, 1992, which forms the basis of important documents that later led to the current situation. The Convention provides that the Russian Federation should withdraw its military presence from the Transnistrian region. This wasn’t done and the military presence in the region is thus considered illegal.

The expert noted that among the most important mandatory documents by which Russia pleaded to withdraw its troops are the resolution of the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit according to which Russia was to fully pull out its troops and munitions from the Transnistrian region by the end of 1999, but this wasn’t done. That’s why at the Porto Summit, Russia managed to introduce a clause saying the withdrawal of its military presence will take place when there are favorable conditions. Since then these favorable conditions haven’t been created. Before the adoption of the UN resolution of June 22, 2018, which is recommendatory in character, Russia adopted a position that was stated in advance, namely that this is a counterproductive measure, while the Transnistrian administration declared that the withdrawal cannot take place without its consent. Similar resolutions were adopted in the case of Georgia and Ukraine and their effects included only a demonstration of support for the given countries by the international community.

The public debate “(Political, economic, social, international) consequences of UN discussion on the withdrawal of the foreign army from Moldova’s territory” was the 91st installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” that are staged with the support of the German foundation Hanns Seidel.

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