31/7 Tass 7
MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) ——Russia’s military contingent in Transdniestria celebrates on Sunday the 19th anniversary of entry into the region of Russian peacekeepers. The day is known officially as day of joint peacekeeping forces of Moldova’s Transdniestrian Region, official representative of Russia’s Army Sergei Vlasov said.
“Entering of the Russian peacekeepers in Transdniestria in 1992 put an end to the armed conflict in Moldova. Disconnection units stopped the fighting on both banks of Dniester by taking control of the 225-kilometer zone between the warring parties having formed a peacekeeping mechanism. On the night of July 31 August 1, women, children and the elderly greeted Russian peacekeepers who were delivered by an aircraft to the Tiraspol airfield and as they crossed the Dniester on military vehicles. They threw flowers on the armor vehicles, brought bread and salt, wiped tears of happiness. Joint peacekeepers have been maintaining peace there for 19 years, “- Vlasov said.
“The daily activities of peacekeepers soon turned the area into a zone of confrontation between peace and security. Peacekeepers accumulated experience that enables them to meet the challenges of maintaining peace and order in the security zone, displaying stamina, courage, diplomacy, human tact and faithfulness to duty. According to the Joint Control Commission, the peacekeepers carry out effectively their responsibilities for maintaining peace and stability in the area of shared responsibility,”- he said.
According to the chief of the Russian military contingent in the Transdniestrian Region of Moldova, Colonel Anatoly Zverev, from the time the peacekeepers came there, they have detained more than 116 thousand people, seized 50 machines, 13 rifles, 62 pistols, dozens of hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades, 150 thousand rounds of ammunition, cleared and eliminated 13,500 explosive devices.
As leader of the unrecognized Transdniestria, Igor Smirnov stated on July 25 in Tiraspol, the Russian military presence in Transdniestria is part of the newly emerging system of collective European security.
“Most importantly, during these years there are no blood flows here. Peace on the banks of the Dniester is supported by Russia’s authority. The reason for this is that the people of Transdniestria and Moldova have always respected soldiers of great Russia, “- Smirnov said. He expressed the view that “Russian soldiers since the times of Peter the Great and Alexander Suvorov have been the herald of freedom, the guarantor of peace and stability and will never be perceived by the region’s population as invaders or occupiers.”
On July 21, 1992, Presidents of Russia and Moldova signed in Moscow an agreement “On the principles of peaceful resolution of armed conflict in the Transdniestria Region of Moldova,” which marks the beginning of the peacekeeping operation in the region. Peace and stability are supported by joint peacekeeping forces, consisting of Russia’s troops /335 servicemen/, Moldova’s /453 servicemen/, Transdnistria’s /490 servicemen/ and a group of military observers from Ukraine, consisting of 10 officers. The uniqueness of the operation is proved by the fact that since the signing of the agreement there had not been any outbreaks of violence, not a single person died. This enabled Chisinau and Tiraspol to negotiate a peace settlement. Transdniestrian authorities insist on increasing the number of Russian peacekeepers while Moldovan leaders suggest replacing them with civilian observers.