Eastern Europe Geopolitical Watch – From 4 to 10 February 2023

Eastern Europe monitoring team : Séverine Ly, Sarah Wilpotte, Claire Aréthuse, Olivier Husson

This week :  Criticism in Transnistria after Moldovan parliament passes anti-separatism law, Kosovo Prime Minister visited Istanbul, Kosovo Prime Minister accepts Franco-German plan for normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, Seventh EU-Republic of Moldova Association Council in Brussels, Resignation of Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita


03-10/02/2023: Criticism in Transnistria after Moldovan parliament passes anti-separatism law -Séverine Ly-

Deputies from the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), or Transnistria, unanimously supported on 8 February the Supreme Council’s statement of the previous day condemning the adoption of the Moldovan anti-separatism law of 2 February, according to local media (moldovalive, balkaninsight, novostipmr).

The law was passed at the first plenary session of the year of the Moldovan parliament and the final text is available on the official website of the institution. It provides for eight amendments to the Criminal Code: two limiting information to “constitutional” subjects and not to be published by “illegal structures“; six creating sanctions in case of, for example, “serious threats to the security of the Republic of Moldova“, “conspiracy” or “separatism” carrying respectively up to twenty, seven or twelve years in prison.

On 3 February, the Joint Council of Labour Collectives (OSTK) published a joint statement on its website stating, with other Transnistrian public organisations, that the legislative decision had wiped out “the results of the peace negotiations achieved over the last thirty years” and put an “end to dialogue” by criminalising the entire population of Prednestria. An “open conflict” would therefore be set in motion in which “actions directed against a PMR citizen will be considered terrorist“.

On 8 February, a statement by the Supreme Council was sent to all participants in the 5+2 dialogue, reported the official PMR news agency, novostipmr. In the statement, which was first considered by the Armed Forces Committee on Foreign Policy and International Relations and then approved by the deputies, the Supreme Council of the MTR denounced “the direct threat to the personal security of citizens” and the “deliberate prologue to massive human rights violations“. It warns against “the implementation of repressive measures” and regional security destabilisation for which “the Moldovan side is entirely responsible“.

The next round of negotiations announced for mid-February is therefore compromised since neither side is satisfied with its progress.

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