Moldova has officially demanded explanations from Russia regarding unapproved military exercises conducted by Russian "peacekeepers" in the region of Transnistria.
This request for an investigation was made during a meeting on January 18th by the Moldovan delegation to the Joint Control Commission (JCC), a joint military command structure comprising representatives from Moldova, Transnistria, and Russia, operating in the demilitarized zone along the Moldova-Ukraine border.
Violation of Commission Agreements
The Moldovan delegation highlighted that the Russian military had conducted exercises using military weapons, equipment, and materials at joint "peacekeeping" forces’ posts near the Dniester's administrative border on December 22.
The members of the Moldovan delegation to the JCC signed a statement objecting to this violation of the Commission’s core agreements.
Concerns for Civilian Safety and Protocol Violations
The simulated gunfire during these exercises caused anxiety among civilians due to the loud and alarming sounds of shooting, potentially aggravating the situation in the region.
Furthermore, the presence of military commanders during the exercise, without a decision from the Joint Military Command, was deemed a serious violation of the provisions on commandant's offices in high-security areas.
Request for Investigation and New Rules
In response to these incidents, the Moldovan delegation has requested a thorough investigation into these violations.
They have also called for the formulation of new rules regarding exercises to prevent similar illegal actions by any military contingents of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces.
The request underscores the growing concerns over the presence and actions of the Russian military contingent in Transnistria, officially known as the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF), which originated from the remnants of the former 14th Russian Army active in the early 1990s Transnistrian conflict.