Transnistrian analysts don’t think Kosovo precedent will soon lead to recognition of area

Transnistrian mass-media and political analysts make forecasts as to Transnistria’s fate after the Kosovo precedent and the Russian electrons, the Info-Prim Neo reporter in the area reports. “The Putin–Medvedev tandem will not recognize either Abkhazia, or South Osetia, or Transnistria all the more,” the Novaya Gazeta weekly from Bender writes. “We are like a scarecrow for the West. Russia is hinting that the Kosovo situation created a precedent able to lead to the legalization of the not recognized republics from the former Soviet Union. But one can already find that such a kind of pressure on the West is inefficient. The United States and the European Union have reached the conclusion this is a bluff,” Novaya Gazeta writes. According to the publication, the Abkhazians and the Osetians are more often talked about than the Transnistrians, because Moldova does not want to join NATO and is probably ready consider the issue of the Russian troops’ staying on its territory. The local analysts suppose that, in the talks between Tiraspol and Chisinau, Russia will propose Moldova an updated version of the Kozak memorandum. And, in this regard, the events can unfold in two ways. If Moldova and Russia do not reach a common conclusion concerning the regulation of the Transnistrian conflict, Transnistria will keep its present statu quo. The Russian Federation will supply the area with gas, will provide financial and humanitarian aid and will continue to privatize Transnistrian industrial enterprises, 80% of which are already in Russian ownership. If Moldova, after realizing the West will have left Chisinau alone to deal with Moscow, decides after the 2009 elections to show an example of solving the former military conflict, presently ended within the boundaries of the international law and of the UN Charter, the Transnistrian leadership could be pressed more harshly so that the future status of the region remakes Moldova’s integrity. Neither the first version, nor the second, analysts remark, provides for the legal recognition of Transnistria. While for Moscow, deciding to play a leading role within the Community of Independent States, there is no place for a second Kosovo. The Transnistrian political commentator Andrei Safonov stated, in an interview for the Tiraspol weekly Profsoyuznye Vesti that now, with Russia’s approval o without, both the Transnistrian parliament and leader Igor Smirnov will raise the level of demands from Chisinau. For the coming weeks or months, Transnistria, on the one hand, will enjoy the fact that one of the not recognized republics got independence, and, on the other hand, the Transnistrian authorities will equivocally react to possible attempts of the mediators, guarantors and observers to bring Tiraspol to some kind of compromise with Chisinau. And leader Igor Smirnov will be the least conciliating. The Legislature, during the Kosovo enjoyment period, will propose no compromising form with Chisinau. Consequently, the Kosovo crisis has led to strengthening Smirnov’s position on the internal political arena, because it is him who asks for the international recognition of the region, the analyst maintains. On March 13, the Russian State Duma is to have hearings concerning the solution of the conflicts within the CIS area, as well as concerning the address of South Osetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria on declaring their independence, as representatives of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry will be present.

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