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Comments by the press service of the MFA and European Integration of the RM regarding the statements of the official representative of the MFA of the Russian Federation concerning the Russian military presence on the territory of the RM

Courtesy translation

Comments by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova regarding the statements of the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation concerning the Russian military presence on the territory of the Republic of Moldova

Regarding the comments on the issue of Russian military presence in Moldova made by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. A. Nesterenko during a briefing on October 29, 2010, the Ministry considers it necessary to make the following clarifications.

At the outset, we note a confusion between the two components of the Russian military presence on the territory of the Republic of Moldova: the stockpiles of ammunition belonging to the Russian Federation and the military troops which guard them, on one hand, and the peacekeeping contingent, on the other hand. Therefore, when the Moldovan authorities call for the complete withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Moldova in compliance with international commitments, they refer first of all to the Cobasna stocks of munitions and the soldiers which ensure their protection. There exists no document that would serve as a basis for the stationing of these forces on the territory of the Republic of Moldova without the explicit consent of the host country.

Concerning the peacekeeping operation, the Moldovan authorities appreciate the role it had played, at the appropriate time, in stabilizing the situation after the end of the military conflict. However, the stability which has been consolidated over the years on both banks of the Nistru River implies new standards and tasks for the peacekeeping mechanism. The focus should be shifted from the separation of the sides towards promoting confidence building measures, interaction and reintegration. The time to stop military clashes has been long gone. Today, we must build a lasting peace together with all our partners in the “5+2” format. To this end, we need a civilian mission which meets modern requirements. A multinational operation with a pertinent mandate from an authorized international organization is the only arrangement that can deliver the necessary legitimacy and efficiency.

In the same context, what the Republic of Moldova firmly pleads for is not to put an end to Russian participation in peacekeeping efforts, but to transform the current operation into a multinational civilian mission where Russian representatives could participate together with their colleagues from other countries. As a matter of fact, the timeliness of such a transformation is mentioned in several international documents, including the Joint Statement of the Russian and Ukrainian presidents of May 17, 2010. Consultations concerning the format, structure and the mandate of the future multinational mission can start as early as now, while Chisinau stands ready for a constructive dialogue in this sense.

November 2, 2010

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