Transnistria or Abkhazia: what scenario in the Donbass will go to the Kremlin?

A recent conversation between the leaders of the “Normandy” has shown that Russia is still not interested in a peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbas. And the Russian media, citing sources in the Kremlin only confirmed the words of the representatives of Ukraine in the Tripartite contact group (TAG) that, except in the election about anything else, nor Russian, nor it supports the militants do not want to talk. Moscow is not satisfied with already adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of laws on Amnesty and special status. Russia insists on the reintegration of Donbass on their own terms, turning the Ukraine almost to the Confederation. And the statement about the creation of “the Ukraine” is, like, if you don’t want our way, we, as in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Donbass recognize and cut him from the Ukraine forever. Now the war in the Donbas is more like TRANS-Dniester scenario with some differences. But will the Kremlin on the Abkhazian-Ossetian scenario – question. According to experts, it will become clear closer to winter closer to the date of the presidential elections in Russia.

A beginner in the Normandy format, the President of France Emmanuel macron called last Monday for a two-hour telephone conversations of the leaders of the “Normandy” “a direct dialogue for concrete actions”, seeing in them the dynamics. However, so strongly commented on the conversation of the Quartet, only Makron. Office of the Chancellor released a harsh statement about the necessity of fulfilling the Minsk agreements and the results of the meetings of the Quartet in Paris (2 October 2015) and Berlin (October 19, 2016), an immediate cease-fire, preventing the destruction of civilian infrastructure in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the Donbas.

Him and Merkel announced the list of the most affected areas, where the withdrawal of heavy weapons under OSCE monitoring to be conducted in the first place, especially in the Village of Lugansk (the last of the three pilot points the divorce of forces, which began last year – Ed.). “Raising military units and withdrawal of heavy weapons should be a priority. Should be guaranteed safe access of the OSCE SMM to all areas of Donbass, including those temporarily beyond the control of the segments of the Ukrainian-Russian border”, – is spoken in the message of office of the Chancellor.

Poroshenko during talks last days of July, called one of the bloodiest in 2017. He called on Russia to stop aggressive actions, the supply of arms to the occupied territories and unblock the process of liberation of hostages which illegally kept in Russia, in particular Oleg Sentsov and Roman Sushchenko. “The interlocutors noted the importance of a full ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and holding the dilution of forces with continuous monitoring by the OSCE. Poroshenko stressed the importance of the introduction in the Donbass UN peacekeeping mission”, – referred to in the message of AAP.

We talked about the “formula Rules”. But, according to sources “Today” in Ukrainian dipkrugah paragraphs repeat the meaning of the Road map, the approval of which Russia blocks. The main result of the negotiations can be considered a meeting of foreign policy advisers of the leaders of the “Normandy” in the second half of August. They need “to reach a final steps regarding the safety and to continue work on the roadmap”. However, if the negotiation has long passed. It was supposed to approve in November last year, but Russia, according to its media, wants to enter the “political demands in the election”. So the sources in the Kremlin commented on the local press the results of telephone negotiations of the Normandy Quartet. About “little Russia” in the Kremlin did not mention, though it too was – him and Merkel made it clear about the inadmissibility of statements which violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

“Today” already wrote that the statement of the militants “DNR” on the establishment of “the Ukraine” Putin raises the stakes. This is the usual tactics of the Kremlin on the eve of important meetings and negotiations. However, foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin believes that Moscow is trying to play in the Donbass Abkhazian scenario.

“What do you mean the Abkhaz version? Immediately after the war, Russia officially recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, signed the agreement on cooperation and partnership concluded Medvedev. There is one with the Russian army (in March, Putin has approved the entry of the troops of the unrecognized republics in the Russian army – Ed.)”, – said the “Today” co-Director of foreign policy programmes and international security of the Razumkov Center Mykhailo Pashkov.

Interviewed by “Today” experts and politicians agreed that in the current war in the Donbass clearly the Transnistrian scenario. “In the case of Georgia, Russia went in a more radical scenario – to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the case of Moldova, Russia could have done it long ago, but she’s not interested because it does not solve the RF problem to keep Moldova from movement in the West. The same thing we see in Ukraine, it all happened on the background of changes in the foreign policy of Ukraine”, – said the “Today” senior researcher of the Institute of world policy Leonid Litra.

For Russia, Transnistria and Donbass – an instrument of control over the post-Soviet space. With the help of military “injection” Moscow is trying to block the movement of Moldova and Ukraine into NATO and the EU. According to the former Ambassador of Moldova to the U.S. Igor Munteanu, 25 years ago, the Kremlin encouraged the people of Transnistria to rebel against alleged nationalist circles from chişinău which, according to Moscow, the Transnistrians were ethnic differences. In Moldova, Russia scared the Moldovan people, or as they called Russian propaganda, Romanian nationalists, telling the public that the government in Chisinau is illegitimate. In Donbass Russia promotes the idea of “Russian world” and the “brotherly Nations”, talks about “the Nazis”, “junta”, “state coup” in Kiev and the infringement of the rights Russian-speaking.

“The second parallel – military support. In the case of Donbass reliance was on Russian regular troops, who from the first day illegal armed formations of the separatists in the Donbass with the latest weaponry. So they got an advantage over the weak Ukrainian army. If you follow such Parallels, in 1992, we (Moldova – Ed.) even the army was not on the side of the constitutional authorities of the Republic of Moldova fought the police. Russian generals commanded the Transnistrian armed forces, has constantly supplied them with equipment, weapons, ammunition, etc, in fact, created in TMR a military enclave that constantly fuels” – said “Today,” former Ambassador of Moldova to USA, Executive Director of the Institute for development and social initiatives (IDIS, Moldova) “Viitorul” Igor Munteanu.

As in the case of the Donbas, Russia wants to “push” Transnistria ago in the “body” of Moldova, but on their own terms. According to the MP from NF, member of the parliamentary group of the Parliament for inter-parliamentary relations with Moldova George Logoiskogo, Russia considers this option, and many in the Kremlin believe that it is a method of influence on Moldova on its European course. “It’s like mine frozen action. The same things are done in the Donbass”, – said the “Today” Legwinski.

But the main difference between the war in the Donbas from the events in Transnistria experts believe the absence of a common border of PMR with Russia. In this issue of the unrecognized Republic is strongly dependent on the position of Ukraine, especially in recent years. In may 2015 the Parliament denounced the agreement on military-technical cooperation with Russia under which Moscow via Ukraine could throw in PMR military equipment and personnel. Two years later, on Ukraine’s border with Transnistria the customs posts of Moldova, and later Kiev banned the transit of goods in the unrecognized Republic. All this complicates Russia’s support of a quasi-state.

“The same problems they have with the Crimea. There is a ferry, but it only works in the summer. From this we conclude that the plan of the Russian aggression was built to reach the Crimea via Zaporozhye, Kherson, combine these areas to Odessa and Odessa to go to Transnistria. And we should not think that this destabilization plan will not be implemented in the future, so those regions need to pay special attention”, – said Georgy Logvynsky.

On the other hand, according to Igor Munteanu, and this is another difference from the war in the Donbass, the absence of a common border with Russia pushed the Transnistrian business to focus on Western market. “Now about half of Transnistria’s exports goes to the EU, the other half goes to the right Bank in the Republic of Moldova. That is, there is a large dependence on Western markets, and not from Russia. At the time, the Transnistrian separatists said that their biggest enemy is Romania. But the paradox is that Romania is the largest importer of the Transnistrian products”, – said Igor Munteanu.

In a special report from the unrecognized PMR “Today” already wrote that about 60% of total Moldovan exports to European markets accounted for the Transnistrian goods. MP George Legwinski explains that at the time, Kishinev was liberated enterprise PMR from taxes, but under one condition – they had to recognize themselves as Moldovan companies. Now they are all legally registered in Moldova and can supply their products for export for hard currency. “At the moment, such companies are more than 2.5 thousand, they export their products under the customs seal of the Republic of Moldova. They have benefits, they do not pay certain taxes. Of course, all this is done in order to bring these companies in the legal field of Chisinau. In the case of the Donbas it is impossible”, – said Leonid Litra.

In the case of Donbass it is really impossible, – fighters of “DNR”/”LNR” under the guidance of the Kremlin expropriated all Ukrainian enterprises. Now they pay taxes to the illegal “budgets” quasi-groups. Unlike Transnistria, while in the occupied Donbass of its currency. But there is an active “walking” the Russian ruble, forcing the hryvnia. Media wrote that in “DNR” appeared even their license plates on the car. That is, Russia has almost finished the formation of the quasi-Republic in ORDA. The only question is how far the question of Donbass ready to stop the Kremlin on the eve of their presidential elections?

“I think that Donbass will be more to repeat the Transnistrian scenario. Although I do not exclude that closer to winter in respect of Donbass possible Ossetian-Abkhazian version. The closer the presidential elections in Russia on March 18, the Russian government can take such a radical step – the recognition of independence. As for joining, here’s the question. This is the third option – the Crimean. For gradation, the first and most realistic option – the Transnistrian, the second – Ossetian-Abkhazian and the third, highest level is Crimea”, – summed up Mikhail Pashkov.