Russia’s new ambassador to Moldova, Aleksandr Papkin, has reiterated Moscow’s position that the 1994 bilateral treaty on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova lacks validity until ratified by the Duma, and that the three-year withdrawal schedule begins only from the treaty’s ratification. With regard to peacekeeping in Transdniester, Papkin acknowledged that "Dniester republic" troops are deployed in the security zone in violation of the armistice agreement but excused the violation on the ground that those troops have nowhere else to go. (12) The Russian-Moldovan treaty was signed in October 1994 but has remained only on paper. After initially defining it as an executive agreement not requiring parliamentary ratification, the Russian government changed its position immediately upon signing and submitted it for ratification by the Duma. The latter has not taken it up but has since twice voted by overwhelming margins resolutions against withdrawing the Russian troops from Moldova. The Moldovan government has been ineffective in seeking redress through international mechanisms.
Transdniester Leader Addresses Russian Duma.