Ukraine ready to provide Russia with corridor for withdrawal of troops from Transnistria
Ukraine's Special Representative for Transnistrian Settlement Viktor Kryzhanivsky says Ukraine is ready to provide its territory for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria, while the Russian Federation is showing no willingness to withdraw its forces from the region.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Kyiv titled "Traps of the Transnistrian settlement: How to avoid them", he said Ukraine agrees to the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria via the Ukrainian territory, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
"We still agree on the use of our territory because our principled position is that Russian troops should be withdrawn from there, they should have long been withdrawn, and today our position remains unchanged, therefore we are providing all the assistance possible," Kryzhanivsky said.
At the same time, he drew attention to the recent statement by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin that Russia would not withdraw troops from Transnistria. According to Kryzhanivsky, Russian Duma also said that it was impossible to withdraw Russian troops and ammunition from Transnistria due to the "unstable situation in Ukraine."
"But all these stories are for those with mental issues," Kryzhanivsky said.
Read alsoDangers of Russia withdrawal corridor from Transnistria via Ukraine"Russia shows no readiness to withdraw its troops, and they will cling to anything, looking for some new excuses. Our position remains unchanged: we will provide the territory, we will ensure an unhindered and safe withdrawal of Russian troops and ammunition from the territory of Transnistria as soon as Russia begins to do this or at least expresses its readiness," he said.
The diplomat also noted that Ukraine's position on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict remains unchanged.
"This is about reaching a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict as soon as possible, based of preserving sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova. Such a mandate I received from Ukrainian President Poroshenko, and there cannot be any compromise," Kryzhanivsky said.
He also noted that efforts were being made to speed up the settlement process.
However, as the Ukrainian diplomat pointed out the lack of steps toward political settlement, i.e. "the return of Transnistria back to a single state of Moldova."
"There is no progress in terms of a political settlement," Kryzhanivsky said.
At the same time, he called Russia's position an important factor in the Transnistria settlement.
"[Russia] is not ready, and it is not clear when it will be ready to resolve this conflict, because for them the preservation of any conflicts on the territory of the former USSR is a very important factor of maintaining influence on new states," he said.
In turn, Ambassador of Moldova to Ukraine Ruslan Bolbochan said that his country stands for a political-diplomatic settlement based on respect for the territorial integrity and independence of Moldova within the internationally recognized borders. At the same time, he noted that Moldova supports granting of a special status to the Transnistrian region.
Read alsoUkraine, Moldova, Georgia decry Russian presence - media"Another very important issue of military presence. We are in favor of transforming the current peacekeeping mission into a civilian mission with an international mandate, and we stand for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the Republic of Moldova and for the withdrawal of ammunition from our country's territory," Bolbochan said.
He has also that the Moldovan government is committed to promoting a direct dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol.
The diplomat expressed gratitude to Ukraine for supporting Moldova's efforts in the Transnistrian conflict settlement.
Separately, Bolbochan said that any military exercise in Transnistria is a matter of concern.
"According to some information, last year there some 300 such military trainings were held. This is too much, and we are concerned," Bolbochan said.