Evolution of Transdniestrian conflict in the Republic of Moldova: prospects for its solution
Marinuta, Vitalie Nicon
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This thesis analyses the causes and evolution of the conflict in the Republic of Moldova and capabilities of three conflict-regulating mechanisms to facilitate the final political solution of this conflict. The leading cause of the conflict is the competition among post-Soviet politicians, fighting over the division of the Soviet state and redistribution of politico-economic benefits. In their fight for power, the elites mobilized instrumental and primordial grievances of the population, thus giving an ethnic aspect to the confrontation. As an important intervening variable for the conflict escalation into a military confrontation is Russian interest in maintaining politico-economic and military domination over the region. Over time, all ethnic causes had been eliminated, thus creating the necessary conditions for the final political settlement of the conflict. However, the status quo, created around this conflict, suits the politico-economic interests of the Transdniestrian elites, and reinforced by the Russian interest in keeping the region under its influence, is encouraging them to promote a radical position toward the process of negotiations and to demand anything but independence, a fact that cannot be accepted by the legal Moldovan Government. In such circumstances, the final solution depends on the attitudes of the external players. However, the international players are dispersed over the methods of resolving this conflict, thus reinforcing the deadlock situation in the process of negotiation. This thesis argues that under the current circumstances, none of the conflict regulating mechanism, partition, confederation and federation will solve that particular conflict. However, the federalism has the most potential to serve as a tool for unification and conflict-resolution, but only if the international community and internal players will promote democratic values, rule of law and free marked orientation in the region, will reduce the benefits of the status quo situation and, finally, will offer substantial politico-economic and cultural autonomy combined with fair representation at the central level to the Transdniestrian region.
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