miercuri, 28 martie 2018
TRANSNISTRIAN CONFLICT IN THE CONTEXT OF RUSSIA – WEST CONTRADICTIONS
Article published in: Anuarul Laboratorului pentru analiza conflictului transnistrean, Volume I, No. 1 / 2017, Sibiu, Romania, pp. 41-45.
Abstract: The domestic vulnerabilities first maintain unresolved the Transnistrian conflict since 1992 until now. The lack of effective governance (the stolen $ billion from National Bank) has made the Moldovan state not attractive for the population from Transnistrian area. However, external factors play also an important role. Lately, changes have taken place in regional and global security environment: amplification of the Russian factor, re-shaping of the role of EU after Brexit, changes in US approach to security issues after D. Trump's election. Experts in Transnistrian conflict analysis should take into account all these elements, together with the internal ones.
Keywords: Transnistrian Conflict, Security Environment, Republic of Moldova, External Factors, Russian Federation, European Union, Romania.
There are premises to say that domestic vulnerabilities are the ones that maintain unresolved the Transnistrian conflict from 1992 to the present . The lack of effective governance has made the territory, controlled by the Chisinau authorities, to be not attractive for the population from Transnistrian area. The one billion US dollars, stolen from the reserves of the National Bank of Moldova (with the subsequent abolition of the largest, the only state commercial bank – Banca de Economii a Moldovei [BEM], the concession of Chisinau international airport and the concession of the southern part of the republic, in dubious conditions, for the exploration of shale gas, have made the inhabitants of Transnistria to look cautiously to the Republic of Moldova. However, indisputable, the external factor plays a very important role in the Transnistrian conflict. In the last period, changes have taken place in the regional (Eastern Europe) and global security environment: Russian factor amplification, changing the US approach tom security issues after President Donald Trump's election, re-shaping the role of the EU after Brexit and others. All these elements affect the situation on the banks of the
and, together with the internal ones, should be taken into account by experts
in Transnistrian conflict analysis. Nistru River
That is why the Transnistrian conflict should be analyzed in the context of the changes in regional and global security environment. One of the perspectives is to look at it through the prism of European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) in the context of the
Russia – West contradictions, completed with
sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia
after the annexation of the Crimea and supporting the rebel troops in Eastern Ukraine. also responded with
sanctions – with restrictions on EU food imports. Russia
The EU role in Conflict Resolution in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries: the Moldovan case
The European Union as a collective of its member states is concerned with conflicts from its neighborhood, because the security from this area is a condition of its own security and wealth (prosperity). The EU is vitally interested in having as neighbors a community of values, such as democracy, human rights, rule of law etc., which is a guaranty for stable development and for modernization of any country.
Among the EU neighbors are fragile and conflict-affected countries. One of these states is the
which, since 1992, faces a frozen conflict in the Eastern part of its territory .
Unfortunately, Chisinau authorities have difficulties in addressing effectively
the conflict; they do not have a vision and, respectively, a strategy for
conflict resolution. More than that, businesses with economic agents from
uncontrolled territory bring income to legal authorities, that is why there is
a lack of political will to solve the conflict. Republic of Moldova
The European Union has clear interests in stabilizing its Eastern neighborhood. However, since now, its action beyond its boundaries has been limited. The experience from the Eastern Partnership Program  showed that the financial assistance – for governments of neighboring countries, which declared themselves “pro-European integration”, but in fact are suspected of corruption and embezzlement by domestic societies and by international actors – is not quite effective in helping the societies from those countries. EU must find other, more effective, ways to contribute to the stabilization and modernization of those countries. Understanding very well that the conflicts outside the Union, at the EU borders, are dangerous and are potential outbreaks for the EU destabilization,
must participate in conflict
management and in conflict resolution – in finding solutions for the conflicts.
Undoubtedly, EU must have an efficient approach to conflicts and crises in fragile and conflict-affected countries, to contribute to their development, by designing and applying a common strategic vision of conflict prevention (before crises emerge or violence erupts). From the perspective of societies from the Eastern European countries, which want to become parts of the European family, EU is the only supporter, which can help by imposing conditions on authorities from their own countries.
Still, the European Neighborhood Policy and the European Security Strategy must take into account the specificity of fragile states, which, in many cases are captured (the state institutions are captured by some oligarchic groups). Often, to help from outside a captured state means to help the oligarchic regime from that state.
The EU is an important actor, which plays and will play a special role in regional and in global context in conflict management and in conflict resolution. That is why it is important for
to develop relations with real pro-European political forces and experts from
civil societies of neighboring countries (including from ), in order to help those
countries (nations), not dubious (corrupted) political regimes. Moldova
The amplification of the Russian factor in Eastern European region
It is well known that
is now in a
period of military revival. That is why the Russian leadership takes measures
in order to reinforce the Russian sphere of influence on the territories of the
former Soviet Union (and even further – for example in Russian federation Middle
East). Russian President is already cold in
“collector of Russian lands” (собиратель земель русских). Russia is one
of targets in this context of the amplification of the Russian factor in
Eastern European region (as well as in further important geopolitical areas). Moldova
Eastern Europe is a disputable space between
Russia and West, especially after the
affirmation of the European aspirations of Ukraine,
(they all are parts of the Eastern Partnership – a program within the European
Neighborhood Policy) and after signing association agreements by these three
One of the instruments used by
in order to stop the exit of
the former Soviet republics from the Russian sphere of influence is the
inspiration and the informational, financial, logistical, military support of
separatist movements in neighboring countries. First this instrument was used
in Russia Republic of Moldova,
in Georgia, and finally in .
It is now recognized by many experts, military stuff and state officials that
Russia carries out a hybrid war against some former Soviet countries, in order:
to stop their aspirations of European integration (mainly, it is about Ukraine,
Georgia and Republic of Moldova). A hybrid war 
1. To use the Russian speaking minorities from those countries as a fifths column, in order to destabilize the political situation from the society,
2. To use propaganda (an information warfare), also to destabilize the internal situation from the target country (which is an assault on societal security of the country).
3. To use intelligence methods in order to collect information ant to influence political leadership and societies perception of the target countries.
A hybrid war is always an asymmetric one, a war aimed at using all means before the involvement of the military troops.
In contemporary historical period, we can see a process of transition of international security system, from the unipolar to multipolar one. It is undoubted, that in these conditions,
Russia wants to be an international/geopolitical
power pole, together with USA,
and other emerging countries. That is why, Kremlin will not accept to withdraw
its influence, its military presence from the territories, which once where
part of the Russian (Tsarist) Empire and of China Soviet Union.
Even in the context of facing of some financial problems by Russia, after the
annexation of Crimea and in the context of supporting of the 5 million
population from Lugansk and Donetsk Eastern regions of Ukraine, together with
the enormous costs of the Russian military operation in Syria, Russia will not
accept to yield Transnistrian region to Moldova. That shows the importance of
the external factor within the process of searching of a lasting solution to
the Transnistrian conflict.
The most important geopolitical canter of the Western civilization is
. After the D. Trump's
election, the community of experts in security field expected some changes in
US approach to security issues over the world, including Washington Eastern
Europe. However, eventually, Trump’s administration has taken over
the major lines of
foreign policy, ensuring continuity. Now can be seen contradictions between US Russia and , NATO and EU (the collective
West). In the context of USA Russia
– West contradictions, the Transnistrian conflict is a point of a low interest,
in comparison with Ukraine, Syria and . Still, Transnistria
and North Korea Moldova as a whole, is a
bridgehead for Russia in
Balkan direction – in a region where traditionally had political interests in Slavic and
orthodox countries. That is why Moscow Russia
will use all means to stop the process of conflict resolution, in order to help
regime to strengthen its control on the territory. Tiraspol
In these conditions, it is obvious that a change of the Russia’s status in 5+2 format of negotiations on Transnistrian conflict resolution, from mediator and guarantor to a part of the conflict (as the Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed the Peace Agreement from 21 July 1992), will transform the format of negotiations into an mechanism better corresponding to reality. This would be very helpful in the attempt to find a solution to the conflict in the international format of negotiations.
However, the main problems, which must be solved in order to face effectively Transnistrian conflict, are internal: corruption, embezzlement, the lack of a state vision, of a state project, of the state building, of an effective economic development, which makes
Moldova unattractive for Transnistrian
population, even if
would express the readiness to withdraw its military troops from the
1. Filip, Corneliu, Dosarul transnistrean. Istoria unui «conflict înghețat», Editura Institutului de Științe Politice și Relații Internaționale, București, 2011
2. Ghica, Luciana Alexandra; Zulean, Marian, Politica de securitate națională. Concepte, instituții, procese, Polirom, Iași, 2010
3. Kerikmae, T.; Chochia A., (eds.), Political and Legal Perspectives of the EU Eastern Partnership Policy, Springer International Publishing
, 2016 Switzerland
4. Kissinger, Henry, Ordinea mondială, Rao, București, 2015.
5. Neag, Mihai Marcel, A new tipology of war: the Hybrid War, ”Revista Academiei Forțelor Terestre”, Sibiu, 1(81) / 2016
6. Nye, Jr. Joseph S., Viitorul puterii, Polirom, Iași, 2012
7. Simileanu, Vasile, Conflicte asimetrice [Asymmetric Conflicts], Editura Top Form, București, 2011
8. Străuțiu, Eugen, The Transnistrian Conflict Files, Techno Media, Sibiu 2017
9. Străuțiu, Eugen; Tabără, Vasile, A comparative analysis of the development of the two banks of the
Dniester. Implemented policies,
desirable policies, Techno Media, ,
10. Țăranu, Anatol; Gribincea, Mihai, Conflictul transnistrean. Culegere de documente şi materiale. Vol. I (1989-1993).- 598p.; Vol. II (1993-2002).- 638p., Lexon-Prim, Chișinău, 2013
 Examples analysed from Corneliu, Filip, Dosarul transnistrean. Istoria unui «conflict înghețat» Editura Institutului de Științe Politice și Relații Internaționale, București, 2011, passim; Eugen Străuțiu, The Transnistrian Conflict Files, Technomedia, Sibiu 2017, passim; Eugen Străuțiu, Vasile Tabără, A comparative analysis of the development of the two banks of the
Dniester. Implemented policies, desirable
policies, Technomedia, ,
2015, passim. Sibiu
 For context: Anatol Țăranu, Mihai Gribincea, Conflictul transnistrean. Culegere de documente şi materiale. Vol. I (1989-1993).- 598p.; Vol. II (1993-2002).- 638p., Editura Lexon-Prim, Chișinău, 2013.
 See Tanel Kerikmae, Dimensions and Implications of Eastern Partnership Policy: Introduction, in T. Kerikmae, A. Chochia (eds.), Political and Legal Perspectives of the EU Eastern Partnership Policy, Springer International Publishing
, 2016. Switzerland
 An approach: Mihai Marcel Neag, A new tipology of war: the Hybrid War, ”Revista Academiei Forțelor Terestre”, Sibiu, 1(81) / 2016, pp. 14-20.
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