Pavlo Lodyn, Centr of Political Narratives of Democracy
Last meeting of the President of Moldova Igor Dodon with the leader of the unrecognized PMR (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic) Vadim Krasnoselsky, which took place on Tuesday, was very positively assessed by the pro-Russian and pro-socialist media of Moldova, in order to draw a clear border between which, however, it is hardly possible.
The topic of the meeting was the issues of quarantine posts, telecommunications, the banking system, the opening of a new transport line, as well as the topic of criminal prosecution of Pridnestrovian officials for actions punishable under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova. According to the participants, as a result of the meeting, they managed to achieve understanding on all the topics that were declared on the agenda.
“I think there was a good dialogue today. We have discussed in detail a rather extensive list of issues. A comprehensive systematic approach to possible ways of solving them was formed, ”Dodon said at the end of the meeting.
“This is the seventh meeting and it stands out from the others. In addition to the presidents, it was attended by political representatives and persons who are competent to solve existing problems – according to the list of issues that had been raised earlier, ”Krasnoselsky declared.
“The only politician in Moldova who is seriously and programmatically involved in relations with Pridnestrovie is Igor Dodon,” the first “foreign minister” of the PMR Valeriy Litskai said in an interview with the Chisinau newspaper “Kommersant Info”. He also stated in this interview that “a real unification of the two shores now and in the near future seems completely unrealistic.”
After the meeting between the President of Moldova and the leader of the unrecognized PMR, the Moldovan opposition expressed indignation at the communication of Dodon and Krasnoselsky on equal terms, as two leaders of the two states. The leader of the “YES platform” Andrei Nastase, in turn, said that he would file a complaint about this to the General Prosecutor’s Office.
“It is unacceptable for the President of Moldova to conduct discussions with the so-called leader of the Transnistrian region on equal terms. It is immoral, illegal, it contradicts the Constitution and the interests of the people, ”Nastase said.
And the most interesting thing is that on the eve of the meeting with Dodon Vadim Krasnoselsky during a video conversation with the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Thomas Mayer-Harting, accused the official Chisinau of sabotaging the agreements of 2017-2018 and of creating conditions that exclude any possibility of implementing the Moldovan part of the package “Berlin+”, as well as in the strengthening, against the background of the election campaign in Moldova, confrontational rhetoric regarding other problematic issues in the financial, infrastructure and social spheres.
Summarizing the above, we come to the real picture of the Chisinau-Tiraspol negotiations. The status quo between them is very stable and has no tendency to change. In other words, the notorious “Kozak Memorandum”, which they tried to revive after Igor Dodon came to the presidency, is finally and undoubtedly dead. No “asymmetric federation” has worked out, and it will not work, and both sides are only simulating negotiations, remaining in their previous positions, and solving completely different tasks. For example, Igor Dodon uses them to solve his own electoral problems, and the Moldovan president, who obviously suits Tiraspol more than any of his competitors, who has at least a ghostly chance of winning the presidential elections scheduled for November 1, and he hopes very much to open in Transnistria Moldovan polling stations, which would significantly increase his chances of a smooth re-election. In turn, Vadim Krasnoselsky, who plays on Dodon’s wishes, step by step increases his status in the negotiations, and with him de facto the degree of partial recognition by Moldova of PMR, and de facto influence of Tiraspol on Chisinau.
Everyone is interested regarding what does Dmitry Kozak have to do with it? In 2003, while holding the post of the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, Kozak developed a plan for the “solution of the Transnistrian conflict” named after him. Within the framework of this plan, Moldova was to become an “asymmetric federation” and the PMR and Gagauzia to receive special statuses of “junior subjects”, with the ability to block undesirable bills of Chisinau. In exchange for Moscow’s assistance in such a solution to the conflict by forcing Tiraspol and Comrat to it, Chisinau had to agree to the military presence of Russia on the territory of Transnistria for a period of 20 years.
But to the great regret of Kozak, in 2003 his plan failed miserably, as Moldova played back at the very last moment. The reason was that an unambiguous turn into Moscow’s orbit would have entered into an insurmountable contradiction with the desire of the then President of Moldova and Chairman of the Party of Communists Vladimir Voronin to exist in the third incarnation of the dollar billionaire. As a result, Kozak’s plan had at that time only one clear consequence, and one that its author definitely did not count on: the European Court of Human Rights recognized the Transnistrian authorities as Moscow’s puppets, blaming Russia for all crimes committed by them, unrecognized. and, therefore, outside the jurisdiction of an international court.
At the same time, in strategic terms, Kozak, in general terms, nevertheless coped with his task. Taking advantage of the refusal of Chisinau, Moscow managed to reliably freeze negotiations on the status of the PMR for a decade and a half, under the pretext that, they say, Russia proposed a solution, and Moldova rejected it. This freeze has created a long-term hotbed of oppression of all human rights, poverty and military instability in the region. Indeed, although the conflict in Transnistria has the status of “frozen”, it can be “unfrozen” at any time and under any pretext.
After that Igor Dodon became the President of Moldova and they tried to revive the old plan, which ended with the result described above. The scope of powers that Tiraspol requires for itself in the “asymmetric federation” will immediately put an end to the independence of Moldova and its participation in any international projects. Chisinau is simply starting to hang on the pro-Russian TMR as if on a kukan, finding itself completely in the hands of Russia.
But even the continuation of negotiations “just for the sake of appearance” turns out to be, albeit a gradual, step-by-step, but at the same time, an undoubted surrender of the interests of Moldova as a state. The temptation is too great for Dodon, who is losing popularity but does not want to leave, to use the negotiating umbrella to solve the problem of his re-election and strengthen the position of his party.
And this successful Moldovan experience has been fully assimilated by the Russians.
And since January 2020, Dmitry Kozak, having passed a number of high positions in 17 years, returned to the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, replacing Vladislav Surkov as the deputy head for Ukraine, and, as a consequence, the curator for Donbass. Here he tries to use the old practices of 2003: to return, or, more precisely, to hand over the occupied territories to Ukraine together with the occupation administration retained on them, having achieved a “special status” for the two “republics” of the LPR and DPR. But in front of Kiev there is an example of Kozak’s work in Moldova and its consequences, including the extreme, and obviously not the last, negotiations between Dodon and Krasnoselsky. And looking at them, it immediately becomes clear that the real goal of Dmitry Kozak’s actions, in Moldova and Ukraine, was and remains eternal devastation and eternal conflict. No other trends should be expected from him.