RUSSIA NOW AGAINST UKRAINIAN PEACEKEEPERS IN MOLDOVA.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 130
According to the main Tiraspol daily, Transdniester leaders are "negotiating intensely" with Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s plenipotentiary representative in the region, Yury Karlov, and with the Russian ambassador to Moldova, Aleksandr Papkin, in an effort "to persuade them that the presence of Ukrainian peacekeeping troops would favorably influence the settlement of the [Transdniester] conflict." But the Russian envoys reportedly "consider that the introduction of the Ukrainian contingent is unnecessary." Yesterday in Tiraspol the commander of Russia’s Operational Group of Forces (the former 14th Army), Lt. Gen. Valery Yevnevich, spoke in a similar fashion when he told a delegation of the European Parliament that he opposes the introduction of a Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent. Yevnevich described the proposal as "a Transdniester idea that we don’t accept" and "a Ukrainian attempt to score political gains." He also stated that his troops are capable of controlling the situation by themselves and that "once Ukrainian peacekeeping troops are introduced, there will be nothing left for us to do here."
For its part, the Europarliament’s delegation announced in Chisinau that the European Union will seek a role in the negotiations toward a settlement of the Transdniester conflict and also in monitoring the overdue removal or destruction of the Russian troops’ arsenal there. Delegation leader Erika Mann stated that Tiraspol’s idea of dividing Moldova into "two states under one roof" is dangerous and unacceptable. (Flux, July 1, citing Dnestrovskaya pravda; Basapress, July 2)
Yeltsin had accepted in principle the introduction of Ukrainian peacekeepers at his May 8 meeting in the Kremlin with the Presidents of Moldova and Ukraine, Petru Lucinschi and Leonid Kuchma, along with Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov. In late June, Kyiv was set to deploy a company-size unit and a group of military observers to the key Dubasari district. (See Monitor, May 8-9, June 23, 27) The withdrawal of Russia’s consent indicates that Moscow still hopes to retain predominant influence in Transdniester. The unlawfully stationed Operational Group of Forces has no peacekeeping mandate.
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