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Nina Shtansky: Poverty is Transnistria's Trouble

2012-03-11 19:47
Nina Shtansky: Poverty is Transnistria's Trouble. 26684.png

The history of the Transnistrian conflict counts more than twenty years. The armed conflict between Moldova and Transnistria has been stopped with help of the Russian Federation. Russia is continuing providing security of the population in the conflict zone. Transnistria's Foreign Minister Nina Shtansky told in an interview to GTimes what the relations between Moscow and the DMR are.

- Could you make a prediction about the development of relations with Moscow in connection with the election of Vladimir Putin Russian President?

- Russia is the guarantor country in settlement of this conflict; the country which is carrying out the most effective on post-Soviet territory peacekeeping operation in the security zone for already twenty years. Russia is supporting its compatriots for many years. Russian elections have always been an important event for the Transnistrians. And this year's elections were attended by more than 50 thousand Transnistrian Russians, of whom more than 80% voted for Putin. By the way, more than one third of our population is Russian by nationality. According to various sources, from 150 to 170 thousand Transnistrians are Russian citizens, and the whole population of the country identifies itself with the Russian compatriots. According to the experts, for many, Putin's policy towards fellow countrymen is a major factor for their choice during voting. We believe that relations with Russia will develop in a positive way.

- Everyone knows that Yevgeny Shevchuk was not "the Kremlin's candidate" in the presidential elections. Will it affect relations with Russia?

- "The Kremlin's candidate" sounds too loud; the official Kremlin hasn't declared a certain nominee as its protégé. Was there any of such persons? Or simply one of the candidates has deftly used his contacts in Moscow? There were different talks, and there sounded some statements made by some politicians. All this was widely and highly technologically used by local election headquarters, but the Kremlin has always pursued a consistent and balanced policy towards Transnistria and has not interfered in the choice of the Transnistrian people. At the inauguration ceremony of President of Transnistria there was announced congratulation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia emphasizing that he could rely on the friendly collaboration and cooperation in future work to settle the challenging problems of the region, providing stability and social cohesion.

- How justified, in your opinion, is the thesis that Russia is now more interested in such a way of settlement the Transnistrian conflict, which in fact would limit the sovereignty of the republic?

- As I have noted, Russian citizens live in Transnistria. I'm sure this factor, combined with the role and responsibility, which Russia has assumed as the guarantor country and peacemaker, is crucial in the implementation of its policies in Moldovan and the Transnistrian directions.

- What are the trends in the relations between Transnistria and the EU countries?

- The EU gets increasingly involved in various processes in the Republic of Moldova. It's no secret that today the amount of assistance provided by the EU to Moldova is only a little higher than the volume of assistance to Pakistan. Even under the former leadership of the republic (under Smirnov), the EU implemented a number of very expensive and important projects for health on the territory of Transnistria. Today, a number of new initiatives for the implementation of projects in education, health, solutions of infrastructure problems are being advanced. Now, these initiatives are being studied, the talks are being held.

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