MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow considers attempts by Moldova's authorities to interfere with the work of the Russian peacekeeping mission in the self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria as "an unfriendly move" that could escalate tensions in the region, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said in a statement that Chisinau had recently resumed a propaganda campaig, aimed at forcing the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the region as well as at changing the status of the current trilateral peacekeeping mission, operating in the region under an international mandate.
“Any actions, aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region, attempts to push the Russian peacekeeping contingent, operating in the region under the auspices of the Joint Control Commission, from Transnistria, will be considered by Russia as unfriendly acts undermining the foundations of the peacekeeping operation…,” the statement said.
In 1990, the breakaway republic of Transnistria, with a predominantly Russian and Ukrainian population, declared its independence from Moldova in a move, which led to armed hostilities in 1992. Moldova tried to resolve the conflict with the use of military force, but lost all control and influence over the region.
After the end of violence, the presidents of Russia and Moldova in the presence of Transnistria’s representatives signed an agreement on the Principles of a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova. The deal paved the way for the establishment of a tripartite peacekeeping force. Currently 402 Russian, 492 Transnistrian and 355 Moldovan servicemen, as well as 10 Ukrainian military observers are keeping peace in the conflict zone.