ISSN 2330-717X

Moldova Mulls Lawsuit Against Russia Over Transnistria Troops


By Madalin Necsutu

Chisinau is seeking an international law firm to work on a law suit against Moscow, demanding compensation for the deployment of Russian troops in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Moldova’s speaker of parliament, Andrian Candu, announced on Thursday night that the country is looking for a major international law company to handle a lawsuit which it is planning to file against Russia at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

“That firm still has not yet been named, there are preliminary discussions with several firms because there are not many firms in the world which can make such assessments and then defend your interests as Moldova in court, in this case in The Hague,” stated Candu told a political talk-show on the TVC21 channel.

The suit will claim compensation for damage done by Russian troops who have been stationed in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria for more than 25 years.

Candu initially raised the idea on January 19 in an interview with a Latvian newspaper.

Russian parliamentarians responded on January 22 that Russia could issue also a bill to Moldova to cover the costs of deploying its soldiers.

“Russian peacekeepers fulfil an essential role in the region, avoiding a military conflict, which would be inevitable if they were not there. These expenses are not small at all,” Russian senator Franz Klintsevich was quoted as saying by Regnum news agency.

A member of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security, Alexei Pushkov, also complained on Twitter account on January 21 that this was “the typical logic of parasites: to invent an excuse and shout ‘give money’!”

He also argued that Russian markets would be also be closed to Moldova, although nowadays Moscow has already been imposing a wide-ranging economic embargo on Moldovan goods since 2013.

Meanwhile Moldova’s pro-Russian President Igor Dodon said that the proposed law suit was a populist move for electoral purposes.

He said that statements like the one made by Candu “are very dangerous for Moldova”.

Russia maintains around 1,500 soldiers in the breakaway region of Transnistria, on the left bank of Dniester River.

They have been deployed since the 1992 truce that ended a war between pro-Russian separatists in Transnistria and the Moldovan military.

Military experts claim that in 2017, around 200 joint military exercises took place in Transnistria involving Russian soldiers and Transnistrian military forces.

Critics of Moscow’s military involvement argue that Russian forces are actually supporting the separatist regime in Tiraspol.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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