Conf. univ. dr. Vasile NAZARE
Abstract. In order to understand the separatist conflict from Transnistria, unlike other frozen conflicts within the post-soviet space, we have to depict the determining factors as well as the specific ones. Historical issues (Transnistria and Bessarabia lands being under different occupation – Austrian, Lithuanian, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, Tsarist, Soviet), social and ideological aspects (incompatibility between values accepted by Moscow and Moldova, a gap that has been maximized by the collapse of the former USSR), economic life (the very different development path of Transnistria and Moldova, Transnistria remaining the primary industrial zone), military realities (Moldova hosts on its land the famous 14th Army, with over 40.000 tones of army and ammunition), cultural, ethnical and linguistically differences (see the linguistic law from the 30th August 1989 from Chişinău). All these ingredients can be correlated with political, geopolitical and geostrategic events (Transnistria and Bessarabia have traditionally been of high value for both Tsarist and Soviet Empires; A. Lebed, former commander of the 14th Red Army, used to say: ”Transnistria is Russia’s key in opening towards the Balkans and also, Transnistria is a small part of Russia”. Transnistria is a vital component for Russia’s influence in Moldova and in former soviet or communist states: Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and so on. It is also of great importance in order to stop the OTAN and EU expansion towards East.)
The war lasted between 1st-2nd of November 1990 and 21st of July 1992 when M. Snegur and B. Elţîn signed in Moscow the ”Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Dniester Region of the Republic of Moldova”, treaty containing a cease fire accord. For about 25 years, the conflict has been frozen and Transnistria has become a ”de facto” state – not recognized by UN and not even by its protector.
Regarding the solutions invoked, for over two decades there have been certain scenarios: maintaining the status quo; making Moldova whole again under confederate or federal organization; an independent Transnistria, ”The 7 Steps Iuşcenko Plan”; Transnistria under international protection (following the Kosovo model); Transnistria as part of Russia; Transnistria as part of Ukraine; Moldova as part of Romania and Transnistria integrated within an hypothetical Russian-Ukrainian-Belarusian state (this last one remained in a project phase only).
Keywords: frozen conflict, de facto state, separatism, secessionism, nationalism, ethnic conflict, post-soviet area, Transnistria, Bessarabia, Russia, asymmetrical federation, confederation, international conflict