Yevropeiska Pravda: Moldova declares “war” on separatism

It is hard to believe, but the illegality of the Transnistrian government hadn’t had a clear definition in the legislation, IPN reports, with reference to Yevropeiska Pravda (“European Truth”) of Kyiv. Moreover, as the editor of the publication Sergiy Sydorenko opines, despite “the referendum on independence” held in Transnistria in 2006, Moldovan legislation gave up the term of “separatism”, let alone the punishment for the actions of the separatists.

In an analysis centering on the amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova, the Kyiv-based publication says that in 1992, the Russian army waged war against the newly formed Moldovan army. Moldova suffered a military defeat and was forced to sign a truce deal with then-Russian President Yeltsin. Since then, the left bank of the river Dniester has been under Russian control. The European Court of Human Rights confirmed this status.

No less important was that Moldova lost the informational war in the 1990s. Russian propaganda machine convinced many in its “peacemaking” mission.

Moldova is changing its approach to resolving the Transnistrian conflict, seeking to liberate the territory on the left bank of Dniester from the Russian occupation since 1992. Chisinau has been in dialogue with the leaders of the pro-Russian regime in Tiraspol and avoided conflicts for the past 30 years.

Chisinau in Transnistria has already been accused of ruining negotiations between the banks of the river Dniester. Moldova’s authorities did not worry about that. This destruction was likely the goal of the legislative changes. Moreover, the law pushes for an economic blockade of Transnistria, because trade with it may be criminally punishable.

The amended criminal code of Moldova defines that the existence of the Transnistrian government is illegal. It falls under “unconstitutional entity”. This was just in the legislation now. The term “illegal information structure” was introduced separately to denote the special services of Transnistria. It collects secret information that “harms the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, state security or defense capability of the Republic of Moldova”. The law also establishes or specifies punishments for “sedition”, espionage, etc.

This norm should ensure a trade and financial blockade of the region because any overpayments to Transnistria are partly used for taxes, which fund the separatist regime. However, the Republic of Moldova government provides the main financial revenues of the budget of Transnistria. For example, purchasing electricity in Transnistria. Moldova is not ready to stop purchasing it. Therefore, the “financing of separatism” will continue, despite the criminal liability.

This revolutionary law is yet to be fully implemented. The document still needs to enter into force, awaiting the signature of President Maia Sandu, who has already faced pressure from some international partners.

Recently, IPN News Agency held a public debate centering on the implementation mechanism and possible effects of the anti-separatism law.

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