Transnistria and Gagauzia


13 july, 2018

The appointment of Dmitry Kozak as Special Representative for Trade and Economic Relations with Moldova demonstrates that Moscow is giving a special attention to the Republic of Moldova and that it will grow in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, maintains Ukrainian political scientist Artem Filipenko.

Commenting on Kozak appointment, he said to Infotag that the official’s responsibility for trade and economy will be just formal and this is not a lie.

“Trade with Moldova has a miserable share in Russia’s trade turnover”, the political scientists explained.

In his opinion, Moldova’s importance for the Kremlin is determined by its geographical location.

“The victory of pro-Russian forces may lead to a turnaround in Chisinau external policy and this should become a confirmation of a “soft force” of Russia and a symbolic defeat of a notional West, the European political and economic model”, eh supposed.

Filipenco reminded that Kozak knows the region and its problematic, which will help him cope with the task.

“Yes, many things changed in Moldova (as well as in the neighboring countries) in 2003, but it seems that Kozak will be supervising the upcoming parliamentary elections. Through him, Kremlin will be concluding the basic contracts with Moldovan elites, first of all with President Igor Dodon and the Socialists”, the expert said.

He maintains that the appointment is symbolic also due to the Russian official’s previous activities.

“He was the author of the plan for Transnistrian settlement, aka the Kozak Memorandum. It implied the transformation of Moldova into a federation, in which Transnistria and Gagauzia would get wider rights, including the blocking of Chisinau external policy decisions. It is not excluded that Russia is preparing a new plan for settling, which will be called “Kozak 2”. The victory of pro-Russian forces at parliamentary elections in Moldova may create favorable conditions for implementing this plan. Moreover that President Dodon stated in Moscow in 2017 that he is not going to repeat the mistakes of the past”, the political scientist said.

He said he has no doubts that if Russia manages to impose to Moldova its vision on the settlement (a certain wide autonomous status for Transnistria or the transformation of Moldova into a federation), this will give to Moscow serious trump cards in Ukraine as well.

“Comparing the requirements of separatists from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk unrecognized republics with the 2003 Kozak Memorandum provisions, one can find much in common. It is the right to have separate parliament, law enforcement, army, the right to veto external political decisions, to neutral status. The Kremlin also hopes that both the Brussels and the Washington in the end will prefer any variant of settlement which would allow to rehabilitate Moldova’s integrity in any form and then to forget about the Transnistrian issue forever. However, there will not be a complete returning to the model, proposed by the Kozak Plan in 2003 due to different political forces stand in Moldova, different situation in the international arena. Nevertheless, Russia will try to propose something resembling”, Filipenco supposed.

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