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News 17 Nov 17

Transnistria Orders Mobilization Ahead of Vienna Talks

Transnistrian leader Vadim Krasnoselsky has alarmed Moldova by ordering a general mobilization, just 10 days before new peace negotiations are due to start in Vienna.

Madalin Necsutu
BIRN
Chisinau
Transnistrian leader, Vadim Krasnoselky, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Rogozin and Russian envoy for conflict settlement in Transnistria, Serghey Gubarev meet in Moscow on November 15 to discuss all the details before „5+2” negotiations in Vienna. Photo: Dmitri Rogozin/ Tweeter

Authorities in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria have ordered all men aged between 18 and 50, including reservists, to take part in a general mobilization.

The decree has created anxiety among many people in Transnistria, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty station in Chisinau, Moldova.

Deputy Defence Minister Alexandr Donikov went on TV in the region's capital, Tirasopol, to say the mobilization "has a peaceful character and is an element of civil protection".

He argued that the region's army has to know exactly what its potential and human resources in case of need are.

However, the authorities in Moldova declared they were concerned about a military mobilization starting in Transnistria just 10 days before new negotiations are due to start in Vienna.

"The attempt to mobilize reservists and to check military capabilities is causing concern not only to ourselves but also to our other partners, including those involved in conflict settlement," Moldova's Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, Gheorghe Bălan, said.

Media in Tiraspol reported on November 15 that Transnistrian leader Vadim Krasnoselky had met in Moscow with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, where they agreed on the need for the dialogue, "to solve practical issues affecting the lives of ordinary citizens of Transnistria and Moldova".

The Transnistrian leader reportedly also discussed how young men from the region might benefit from simplified procedures to obtain Russian passports.

Moldova declared Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin persona non grata in the beginning of August, adding tension to relations between Chisinau and Moscow.

The new negotiations on November 27-28 in Vienna, in their "5+2" format, will encompass Russia, Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine and the OSCE, plus observers from the European Union and the United States.

While negotiations on solving the conflict started a quarter of a century ago, few real steps have been made so far.

Tiraspol insists that Transnistria is an independent state, although no UN member state has recognized it, while Moldova is willingly only to offer autonomy on the model of Gagauzia, which is an "Autonomous Territorial Unit" of Moldova.

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