LEAHU: “If a military agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation will be signed, all the agreements we have with NATO and the EU will be canceled”

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The Russian Federation proposes to initiate the process of using the ammunition stored near the village of Cobasna in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, being ready to install the necessary equipment for this purpose. The announcement was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu,  at the meeting with the president Igor Dodon.

– This doesn’t have to scare us. Probably, Shoigu had to come to Chisinau with a proposal that would be accepted by the population on the right bank of the Dniester as a first step in restarting Moldovan-Russian realities. Destroying such a large amount of weaponry is impossible with a single room, no matter how powerful the machine is. Moreover, an interstate agreement is needed for this. One was signed in 1992 but it was not ratified by Russia. Now either that agreement will be ratified or another,…this will take time. I don’t think that the destruction of even one howitzer will be successful until the presidential elections in Moldova. No one should think that if the weapons depot is liquidated, Russia will withdraw it’s army. It won’t be that way. Moreover, Moscow will even try to increase it’s military presence.

The Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Serghei Shoigu, insists on the urgent signing of a military agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Russia, for a period of three years. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, this was discussed in Chisinau.

-This should put us on guard. This collaboration involves several areas, including the battle preparation segment, military doctrine, combat tactics, etc. This also means that the enemy must be finalized. You can’t fight with the air. And here Moldova will be asked for things that are simply inadmissible. We are linked to the NATO Partnership for Peace, we are part of other agreements with the EU. If this Moldovan-Russian agreement will be signed, the other programs will be canceled, and that is a serious thing.

Please give an appreciation for the last visits of Kremlin exponent Dmitri Kozak to Chisinau. All the associations with this name lead to the idea of ​​federalizing the country …

– Kozac’s visits to Chisinau are at least related to a possible federalization of the Republic of Moldova. His mission is to form in Moldova a political and economic force, capable to placing our country on the path of adherence to the interests of the Russian Federation: EUAZES, the Treaty of security cooperation and others and thus the renunciation of the European path. In the event that this goal is achieved, with Transnistria, they will find a way to integrate it in the Republic of Moldova, without harming its sovereignty.

After ten years of any cooperation in the field of defense with Russia,  the minister Pavel Voicu went to Moscow where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. Voicu said that Russia is the strategic partner of Moldova. The statement is made in the context in which the Russian army continues to station on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

– Voicu’s statements fall within the options of the Russian Federation and its partners in the Republic of Moldova. Who could be for PSRM Russia, if not a strategic partner? The presence of Russian military troops in Moldova for them is not a problem, but a sensitive element of support. The logic is specific.

We have accurate estimates of how much armament is stored in the Transnistrian region today?

– Yes, the specialists from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova and within the OSCE Mission to Moldova know these figures very well. About 22 thousand tons of weapons in Cobasna; endowment of the Russian Troops Task Force (GOTR),  (about 200 persons); equipping the peacekeeping battalion; securing the armed forces of the secessionist regime: 4-5 thousand army. That’s how much it is estimated. The rest of the force structures, plus the reserve for special cases.

How dangerous is the Transnistrian army for Moldova? And for Ukraine?

– In relation to Moldova, the Transnistrian forces are comparatively equal. Their advantage is the focus on special purpose bands. Respectively, the level of personal training is higher, the possibility to train efficiently, there is no shortage of cartridges, projectiles, fuels, and they have 18-20 tanks, modernized and ready for battle. For Ukraine, the danger is less. The involvement of these forces in combat actions could evade certain Ukrainian contingents from the fighting in Donbas.

In the last years the negotiations between Chisinau and Tiraspol have evolved and several agreements have been reached that have been implemented. How do you think, things will evolve from now on, considering that the components of the ruling coalition, the PSRM, hardly promotes Russia’s interests and on any occasion goes to consultations in Moscow and the deputy minister for reintegration, Vasile Sova, is the exponent of the PSRM.

– Absolutely all the Tiraspol-Chisinau agreements were adopted with the approval of Moscow. It couldn’t be different. If you have noticed, Dodon promotes agreements in the field, something that the former Government did not like – ensuring banking relationships. Thus, it is clear that in the future, Chisinau will also be asked to give up without relocating the problem of state integration.

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