2 Oct 2017 22:42

Total of 20,000 tonnes of ammunition remaining in Transdniestria - Russia's deputy FM

MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) - The removal of ammunition from Transdniestria is only possible once there is consent from Tiraspol and Chisinau and Kyiv's permission in place, Russian State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said.

"It is the Transdniestrian people themselves who must give consent to the removal of ammunition, Chisinau must give a green light. Besides, it requires Ukrainian permission. This is not as easy as it seems on the surface," Karasin said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

Karasin went on to emphasize the complexity of the process of removing ammunition, recalling that the Russian side was not to blame when the process was interrupted in 2003 after the 'Kozak memorandum' was derailed.

Russia "plans to further adhere to the OSCE consensus document - The Porto Statement of OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers, which welcomed the Russian Federation's obligation to complete the withdrawal of the Russian forces within a short period of time whereas necessary conditions are in place", Karasin said.

The munitions "are safely protected from theft" now, thanks to the Russian military, as Russian servicemen must make sure "they don't fall into dangerous hands", he said. At this point, a total of 20,000 tonnes of ammunition remain in Transdniestria's Cobasna, he said.

"It is only possible to remove them once there is cooperation and guarantees on the part of the interested authorities. And not only those in Transdniestria, but also Moldovan and, what's most important, Ukrainian ones, as in this case, one will be able to speak of using the railroad that is virtually blocked due to the lack of agreements between Chisinau and Tiraspol," Karasin said.