Sandu called for the full withdrawal of the Russian military from Transnistria

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The head of the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party, Maia Sandu, who won the Moldovan presidential election, advocated the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers as part of the Transnistrian settlement. She said this in an interview with the Ukrainian edition of European Truth on November 20.

The settlement in Transnistria should provide for the full withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers from the region, she said.

“I am against the federalization of Moldova; I do not support the options proposed by Dodon (the previous president of Moldova – Ed.) and his party. Because they did not give clear proposals, but spoke about federalization. I am sure that we will find a format for conflict resolution. And it should include full withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Moldova,” Sandu said.

At the same time, the politician stated that a settlement format has not yet been found.

The Transnistrian conflict (between Moldova and the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldavian Republic), which started in the Soviet period and got worse after Moldova withdrew from the USSR, grew into an armed confrontation in 1992.

On July 7, 1992 Russia and Moldova signed a plan of peaceful conflict resolution. On July 21, a peace settlement agreement was concluded and agreed upon by the Transdniestrian side. On July 29, Russian peacekeeping forces entered Bender and Dubasari in accordance with the agreement on settlement of the conflict in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, signed by the presidents of Russia and Moldova on July 21, 1992.

At present, security in the conflict zone is provided by joint peacekeeping forces, which include military contingents from the Russian Federation, the Republic of Moldova, the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic and a group of Ukrainian observers.

So far, no agreement has been reached on the status of Transdniestria. Relations between the parties to the conflict remain strained. Moldova has repeatedly advocated the withdrawal of Russian troops from the region.

In 2019, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia had never questioned the cessation of peacekeeping in Transnistria, and would not do so.