26.06.2015. Security, expert comments “The transit of Russian troops to Transnistria is a good subject for negotiations with the Kremlin”, Razumkov Centre

Ukrainian parliament denounces the existing agreement of 1995 that allowed the transit of Russian military troops to Transninstria through Ukraine’s territory. By ending it, Poroshenko may have blocked around 1,500 Russian soldiers currently stationed in Transnistria, putting pressure on the Kremlin. In response, Moscow said it was ready to provide supplies to Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria by planes, the KyivPost writes.

“It is quite costly for Russia,” says Co-director of Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes at the Razumkov Centre Oleksiy Melnyk. “The unrecognized republic does not have a common border with Russia so Moscow will need to ask Ukraine for permission to fly over its territory. This is a good subject for negotiations with the Kremlin that should be used to obtain concessions from Russia.”

Mr. Melnyk estimates that there are nearly 1,500 Russian soldiers in Transnistria, rotated every six months.

Before terminating the Transnistria troops transfer agreement, Ukraine’s Parliament ended five military cooperation agreements between Ukraine and Russia on May 21, including the law that allows movement of Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. The memorandum to the law states that this agreement “is a direct threat to the national security and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

“This decision should have been made last summer when it was obvious that Russia is an aggressor country,” says Mr. Melnyk. “Today Ukraine shouldn’t back off despite Russia’s possible aggressive steps or statements.”

Mr. Melnyk doubts that Russia will start a war in Transnistria.

Source: Razumkov Centre