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Russia won't yet recognize Transnistria independence

TransnistriaFor Russia, it is still too early to recognize what one Duma legislator says is obvious: The independence of Pridnestrovie (Transnistria). Russia is still smarting over Western recognition of Kosovo, which it says runs counter to international law. According to lawmakers, Pridnestrovie has better grounds for independence than Kosovo.

Influential Duma MP Konstantin Zatulin: "Recognize the obvious: The independence of the unrecognized states"

Influential Duma MP Konstantin Zatulin: "Recognize the obvious: The independence of the unrecognized states"

MOSCOW (Tiraspol Times) - To the dismay of Tiraspol lawmakers, who had hoped for recogniton, Russia is not yet ready to recognize the independence of Pridnestrovie, Abkhazia and South Ossetia en bloc. But the lower house of Russia's Parliament is willing to recognize that the tree 'de facto' countries have all the necessary attributes of statehood and that they have far better claims to independence than Kosovo.

So says the text of a draft resolution scheduled for approval later on Friday, in which Russia's State Duma.

Duma deputies believe that the process of recognition of Kosovo’s independence runs contrary to the norms of international law.

In this connection, the draft document stipulates that Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Pridnestrovie are already 'de facto' independent democratic countries with all the proper attributes of statehood. This puts them in a league of their own when compared to Kosovo. The text of the official statement says that the three states have better grounds for claiming international recognition than Kosovo.

" - Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Trans-Dniester, having built over the years their de-facto independent democratic states with all attributes of authority, have a much larger basis than Kosovo to aspire for international recognition," according to the text.

Russia's Parliament also wants to open Russian diplomatic missions in the new states, among other measures scheduled for approval.

MP wants to "recognize the obvious"

Along with Abkhazia and South Ossetia (both bordering Georgia), the republic of Pridnestrovie - sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine - demand Russia's moral support to be recognized as independent by the international community. While some Duma deputies are not yet ready for full 'de jure' recognition, others believe that it is time for Russia to recognize the obvious - that states like Pridnestrovie are already independent in all practical aspects.

" - The discussion has centered on the possibility of recognizing the obvious: The independence of the unrecognized states in the former Soviet Union," said influential Duma legislator Konstantin Zatulin. "This will become the guarantee of the freedom and security of the population of these states."

MP Konstantin Zatulin is First Deputy Chairman of the Duma's Committe for CIS relations and the near abroad.

Passing the draft, Duma deputies will appeal to the government, asking to increase its support to Russian citizens who live in the three new and emerging countries. In Russian-speaking Pridnestrovie, some 100,000 people hold Russian citizenship. An even larger number of the population are ethnic Russians who hold the citizenship of the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica (PMR), or who hold double citizenship.

Never part of Moldova

Pridnestrovie is more commonly known under unofficial names such as Transnistria, Transdniestria or Trans-Dniester. It has a territory almost twice as large as Luxembourg, and its population is double the size of Iceland's. The country has its own government which issues stamps, passports and license plates. It also has a flag, a national anthem, a national coat of arms, a Constitution, a democratically elected parliament, a Supreme Court, an army, a police force and a customs administration.

Under international law, Pridnestrovie currently meets the requirements for independent and sovereign statehood. Nevetherless, the country remains unrecognized due to a old territorial conflict with neighboring Moldova, which dates back to the time when both areas were forced together inside the Soviet Union by dictator Josef Stalin.

Pridnestrovie has a Slav majority, and the population is overwhelmingly in favor of independence. Historically, Russian-speaking Pridnestrovie has never been part of Moldova, which speaks a different language and has a different ethnic majority.





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