The authorities in Transdnestr believe Russia should dramatically increase the number of its troops in Moldova’s breakaway republic to 3,200 peacekeepers, a Transdnestr official said on Wednesday.
The Russian-speaking province of Transdnestr has maintained de facto independence from Moldova since a brief war in 1992, which erupted during a buildup of tensions following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Tiraspol insists on independence, and even integration, with Russia, while Chisinau says it is willing only to give Transdnestr autonomy within Moldova.
The current peacekeeping force in the conflict zone consists of 402 Russian servicemen, 492 from Transdnestr, 355 from Moldova and 10 military observers from Ukraine.
“The number of Russian peacekeepers should be increased. While there are elements of instability and provocations on the part of Moldova, there are all grounds for this,” Oleg Belyakov, the head of the Transdnestr delegation to the Joint Control Commission which monitors the peacekeeping mission, said.
“In line with earlier signed documents, the number of Russian peacekeepers can be increased to 3,200,” he said.
Official talks on the future of Transdnestr in the “five-plus-two” format, involving Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, Moldova and Transdnestr, with the United States and the EU as observers, have been frozen since February 2006.
TIRASPOL, May 25 (RIA Novosti)