Opinion: Sandu Drags the Conflict into Our Country

Home / Comments / Opinion: Sandu Drags the Conflict into Our Country
The policy of the ruling regime raises with each passing day the risk of military operations beginning on the territory of Moldova
Vladimir ROTARI, RTA: My colleagues and I have been saying for a long time that Moldova is unlikely to remain aloof from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict for long, especially under the current ruling regime. Yesterday and the day before yesterday we saw this clearly – the explosions took place already on our territory, albeit not controlled by the constitutional authorities. For a small and peaceful republic that has not experienced anything like this since the Transdniestrian conflict, it was almost a shock. The president urgently summoned a Security Council but at the end of the meeting she could find no better way than to accuse the authorities on the left bank of terrorism. She supposed that, according to the information at her disposal, it was all about a clash of intra-elite groups, one of which tried to destabilize the situation in the region. The same idea was later repeated by speaker Igor Grosu, who spoke about the existence of a pro-war faction in Transdniestria. These statements immediately led to an altercation with the leader of the left bank, Vadim Krasnoselsky, who had previously announced a “Ukrainian trail”. Basically, any reasonable person, more or less interested in the country’sinternal politics, including its isolated Transdniestrian segment, it is quite obvious who’s been in charge in Transdniestria for the past few years. And we can say with confidence that it is hardly in the interests of big business to start a war at home, and with a huge risk of losing all the assets, and even life. It is enough to see how cautiously Tiraspol behaved even during the first days of the conflict, when Moscow’s military successes seemed to quickly lead to the fall of the current Ukrainian government. “” I am sure that everyone in the ruling party knows this better than me. But they still decided to voice the “self-harm” version. Dangerous even not so much because of the indignation of the other side, but because, in fact, the regime has “given its blessing” to the real clients of the terrorist attacks to continue committing them. What are the consequences? If the attacks on the building of the Transdniestrian secret service and the military unit with the bombing of the radio towers are mainly a threat of spreading panic and destabilization, then, for example, the news that appeared today about shots or even shootings at the warehouses in the village of Cobasna may well be the first sign of casus belli formation for one of the parties to the conflict. Who wants it in the first place? Well, let’s sort it out. Russia could theoretically use the build-up in Transdniestria as an excuse to defend it by military means – for example, by building up its military grouping, peacekeeping forces, restoring the operation of the Tiraspol airfield, etc. And then use all this to attack the Odessa region. However, at the moment these plans are too unrealistic. It is unclear how Moscow will transfer such large forces to Transdniestria, and the reserves of the Defense Ministry do not seem to have much at the moment, and, above all, they will be used in the battles in Donbas. I would rather say that any military aggravation in the “PMR” would be a very unpleasant moment for the Kremlin, since there is nothing that could help the region in particular, except for missile and, possibly, air strikes. For Ukraine, however, the opening of a “second front” would come in handy. This would mean Kyiv's much-desired involvement in the war of third countries, alongside  the opportunity to profit from huge stocks of weapons in Cobasna and defeat the Russian group of forces in Transdniestria known to have no serious military potential. That is why the eastern neighbor has been promoting the topic of the “Transdniestrian threat” for many weeks while tempting us with “aid” in restoring Moldova's territorial integrity. So far, the authorities have been prudent enough so as not to respond at least publicly to such proposals, but a key word here is publicly. After all, we do not know what our senior officials discuss with Western emissaries at the interminable meetings. Yet, even without knowing the details, we see the consequences which include inter alia the mutation of our neutrality towards a more pronounced support for Ukraine. Such unnatural evolution was, in fact, a foregone conclusion. We have warned on numerous occasions that Moldova has already been used by the West as one of the launch-pads in the global geopolitical confrontation with Russia. What seemed like an unnecessary alarmism to someone back then, today is our harsh and, I think, long-term reality. From the outset, the war in Ukraine could not be just a thing in itself, and while it drags on, any logic, be it military, informational or etc., requires focal spillover, “plot development”, especially in areas most convenient and profitable for doing that. Now, as we previously wrote, the Moldovan “pawn” is being put on the chessboard. This is why all the talk about a “neutral status” is gone. And this is why Chisinau has openly taken its side in the conflict, supporting sanctions and committing a series of unfriendly acts against one of the participants and helping the other in every possible way, including by supplying fuel for the needs of the Ukrainian army. So, despite all the previous statements, our leadership in fact could not uphold the neutrality of the country, failing to find the strength to firmly state non-interference in neighboring affairs. As such, it proved to be completely lacking independence and freedom of will in crucial political decision-making. More importantly, the regime is turning a blind eye to the constant fakes from the Ukrainian side, which is portraying Transdniestria as a threat to Ukraine's existence and thereby preparing the ground for a possible preventive strike. Our authorities respond only with lame denials, if at all. If we look from the viewpoint that we do not want war, especially on our home soil, we can confidently say that the authorities are doing everything wrong. I think the ruling party should be aware of the consequences of the war in Transdniestria. Whatever the temptations to resolve the old territorial conflict, the military way to do this would be the worst, since the costs would not cover the benefits for many decades ahead, if our state would manage to endure at all. True, my arguments are again based on the suggestion that our current government enjoys at least some independence, but, as events show, this is far from the case.