The ECHR decisions say that Russia is de-facto responsible for what is going on in the districts from the left side of the Nistru. But the surroundings Russia created through the war in Ukraine drastically reduced its possibilities of influencing things here, while the separatist regime in Tiraspol cannot exist without the support of its creators, Igor Boțan, the standing expert of IPN’s project, stated in a public debate staged by IPN News Agency.
According to the expert, the things are clear: the citizens are one thing and the regime is another thing. “With the citizens from Transnistria, we are allies. We no way antagonize them or make their life more difficult and harsher,” he stated.
As to the reintegration process, the expert said he agrees with his panel mate Gheorghe Bălan’s opinion that a fund should be created for reintegrating the usurped territory and that the authorities and the development partners should pursue a particle policy. He referred to Germany’s experience in reunifying its states. “The fund was projected for 30 years with US$2 trillion. Similar policies are pursued by South Korea,” stated Igor Boțan, noting that the costs are enormous in this case too.
“But we should have a policy for communicating with our citizens from the left side. The years-long policy pursued by Russia, which transformed the hydrocarbons into a weapon, leads to the increasing isolation of this country. The prospects of the Transnistrian administration turn gloomier, also due to the circumstances that force the Republic of Moldova to diversify the gas and electricity supply sources. All these taken together diminish Russia’s impact and influence on the region that, as we said, is 70% dependent on the Russian Federation economically. If Russia’s share in the supply of gas and other resources decreases, the prospects of the administration from the left side become depressing, while the policies promoted insistently by the Moldovan authorities have chances to be successful. Everything depends on the way in which we plan our actions for the population from Moldova’s eastern districts”.
The expert noted that given that Moldova’s potential is modest, the authorities should follow the recommendations of the development partners, especially those who take part in the “5+2” format. It would be a mistake for Moldova to ignore these recommendations. The efforts should be coordinated with the partners involved in this process as this is beneficial. Such an approach could be rejected by the citizens who want the problem to be solved swiftly, not yet by the persons who deal with the Transnistrian settlement professionally.
As to the cut in gas supplies, Igor Boțan said the given action shows that Russia is interested in destabilizing the Republic of Moldova and its capacity to support the separatist region with other instruments. “I think Russia’s influence in Transnistria diminished considerably,” he said.
In another development, the expert invoked “the argument of perspectives”: the Transnistrian region is considered the homeland of “service members and pensioners” with young people recruited to go to the “Russian field”, while on the right side, European integration policies are implemented, Moldova’s Europeans perspective is recognized by the international community and the country can cope with the problems with the support of the development partners.
The public debate entitled “Chisinau-Tiraspol relationship amid worsening crises: new opportunities and dangers” was the 266th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.