The anti-separatism law that was adopted recently by the parliamentary majority can be the ace up in the Moldovan authorities’ sleeve in the negotiations on the Transnistrian conflict settlement, political pundit Igor Boțan stated in a public debate staged by IPN News Agency.
“The adoption of these changes to the Penal Code was a good decision. I hope the authorities will know how to apply this instrument so that it is useful in the settlement process. An article refers to the violation of the national and international legislation. This mention transmits the signal that we are in a negotiation process. I consider those who have differing opinions in debates will set the correct line of conduct for the authorities and the citizens. Everyone realizes that Transnistria is dependent on the Republic of Moldova. These are new circumstances that are different from those stipulated in the Moldovan-Russian agreement of July 21, 1992. This instrument can be useful if it is applied wisely,” stated Igor Boțan.
As to eventual reactions on the part of Moscow, Igor Boțan said they will not try to see if the new law really works or is artificial. “The criminal law also has prophylactic purposes. When the administration in Transnistria is changed, those who would like to replace this would think better if it’s worth the effort. The law does not cover the current separatist regime in Tiraspol. I think the Moldovan authorities’ message will be friendly and these will say that the law will not affect the citizens from the left side of the Nistru somehow if they focus on their own affairs, but it refers to the separatist regime,” he stated.
The permanent expert of IPN’s project considers the Moldovan authorities ultimately realized that separatism is a major danger.
“The separatism that appeared in Ukraine in 2014 has consequences on the territory of Ukraine today and we are also seriously affected. The amendment of the criminal law can seem absolutely justified for most of the citizens, while the maneuvering capacity of the unrecognized separatist leaders in Tiraspol becomes narrower and these are invited to obey the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova. The key message is that the negotiation process is aimed only at the reunification of the Republic in accordance with the constitutional norms”.
Igor Boțan said that Moldova’s supreme law provides that separatism is banned on the country’s territory. However, the new changes to the Penal Code can cause bewilderment among the people from the left side of the Nistru and the constitutional authorities should explain that this law will not affect the life and safety of the ordinary citizens somehow. The criminal law does not have a retroactive effect and the current separatist leaders in Tiraspol are therefore not touched.
According to the political pundit, the new amendments on separatism made to the Penal Code should be aimed at protecting the human rights.
The public debate entitled “Implementation mechanisms and possible effects of new anti-separatism legislation” was the 271st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.