Ukraine is ready to open a ”green corridor” for the withdrawal of Russian troops and armaments from the village of Colbasna in the self-proclaimed Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, or Transnistria, if a decision on the pullout has been taken, according to a Moldovan media outlet.
This was agreed by Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and his Moldovan counterpart Anatol Salaru in Odesa on Saturday, November 5, Moldovan news portal Deschide.MD reported on Sunday, November 6.
Ukraine`s Defense Ministry has not commented on the results of the meeting yet, its official representatives in Odesa told an UNIAN correspondent that they ”had no information about this.”
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Asked by a Deschide.MD reporter, Anatol Salaru said that ammunition from Colbasna is ”an enormous danger for the Republic of Moldova, as well as for Ukraine and Transnistria.”
In his words, a plan to pull out the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) will be finalized by the end of the year.
”We have discussed the creation of a special corridor for Russian soldiers who are in Transnistria and for the weapons and ammunition stored in Colbasna. I was officially informed that the Ukrainian side is ready to prepare a corridor for the evacuation of Russian troops and weapons,” Deschide.MD quoted Salaru as saying. ”We agreed that our experts will be sent to Ukraine to develop the technical side: to examine ways out of Moldova, entrance in Ukraine, where they will be able to circulate.”
”After that we will inform OSCE, because we want this operation to be under the aegis of the OSCE and UN,” he added.
In his words, there will be another official meeting by the end of this year to finalize the negotiations and approve steps aimed to take in the operation of the withdrawal of weapons from Transnistria.
”We will call upon international institutions to put pressure on Russia to withdraw its troops and army. We provide all the paths: sea, land and air,” he said.
According to Deschide.MD, Salaru had previously mentioned three ways of withdrawing the weapons: by land (via Ukraine); by air (the airport Marculesti) and sea (via Giurgiulesti).
”We provide them with all the conditions – they need only to want,” Salaru said.
He assured that Moldova would not virtually incur any expenditure, and some types of ammunition that is in serious condition of degradation will be scrapped with technical and financial support of the United States and OSCE.
The Operational Group of Russian Forces now number a contingent of 1,200 troops, including 500-600 professional soldiers.
According to the Moldovan Defense Minister, the Russian Federation has ”resorted to a trick and changed the peacekeeping troops, which officially came to Moldova, with OGRF troops. Thus, the Russian military were able to accomplish rotation. The recruitment of Transnistrian residents also contributed to the rotation.”
During the Odesa talks, the two ministers also addressed the internal political situation in both countries. In this regard, Salaru asked the Ukrainian side to declare leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon persona non grata in Ukraine.
”His statements are a very dangerous precedent. In the case he recognizes the annexation of Crimea in the referendum, the same can be done for Transnistria, as they had a referendum demanding accession to Russia,” he said.
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