Celebration of the 19th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Peacekeeping Operation in Pridnestrovie Takes Place in Bendery

Celebration of the 19th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Peacekeeping Operation in Pridnestrovie Takes Place in Bendery

Today, solemn meeting dedicated to the 19th anniversary of the beginning of the peacekeeping operation in Pridnestrovie took place in Bendery. Participating in the event were President of the PMR Igor Smirnov, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, representatives of Bendery State Administration. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was represented by Head of the foreign office Vladimir Yastrebchak.

The building of the Bendery State Administration, where the meeting was held, is a kind of symbol of fortitude and courage of the defenders of Pridnestrovie. Just at this spot, on June 19, 20 and 21 of 1992, the hottest fights for the city took place.  Perhaps, it was due to the feat of the Cossacks, guardsmen and militiamen, who defended the main building of Bendery at the cost of their lives, that the Pridnestrovien people managed to keep the city.

Many citizens came today to express their gratitude to the Russian warriors-peacekeepers. Addressing the audience, PMR's President Igor Smirnov marked that introduction of the peacekeeping forces of Russia 19 years ago was a result of diplomatic efforts of Moscow aimed at cessation of the armed aggression of Moldova against Pridnestrovie. Since the moment when a Russian peacekeeper trod on the Pridnestrovien soil, not a single shot had been heard from Moldova, not a single civilian had been killed in Pridnestrovie. “The will of the Pridnestrovien people received protection of a great country – of Russia,” the head of the state told.

Congratulating the peacekeepers, Igor Smirnov pointed out unique success of the peacekeeping operation. “We can speak about high training of the Russian officers, servants of the peacekeeping forces. We can speak about good equipment and fine military and political training. But the most important is that during these 19 years no blood is shed here. The reason for this is the fact that the people of Pridnestrovie and the people of Moldova has always respected and still respect soldiers of great Russia”, Igor Smirnov told. “Since the time of Peter the First and Alexander Suvorov, a Russian soldier has appeared on this land with only one purpose – to liberate brotherly orthodox peoples from foreign yoke. He was and remains a messenger of freedom, guarantor of peace and stability. Never was he perceived by the population as an aggressor or invader.”

The President informed that from now onwards July 21 will be celebrated in Pridnestrovie as a Peacekeeper Day. On this day, 19 years ago, in Moscow, in the presence of Igor Smirnov, Agreement “On the Principles of a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in Pridnestrovie” was signed by the Presidents of Russia and Moldova, which defined parameters of the peacekeeping operation and became, in fact, its beginning.  

Igor Smirnov paid attention to the fact that American, European politicians and representatives of the Moldovan leadership even more frequently link reconciliation of relations between Moldova and Pridnestrovie to withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Pridnestrovie. Like, “peacekeepers have excellently fulfilled their mission and may leave.” The President assured all those who had come that until the final normalization of relations between Moldova and Pridnestrovie this wouldn't take place. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak, congratulating peacekeepers, also underlined inalterability of the status of the peacekeeping operation, “Very often, at various negotiation forums, we hear the words that the peacekeeping operation has fulfilled its functions. The Pridnestrovien and Russian sides are consistent in this question and think that it is necessary to fulfill all agreements and obligations including Joint Statement signed by the Presidents of Pridnestrovie, Russia and Moldova on March 18, 2009. Any questions related to the peacekeeping operation can be reviewed only when final formula of settlement is elaborated. Before this, one must not put lives of people at threat in favor of various political combinations.”

Words of sincere gratitude to Russian peacekeepers were also heard today from representatives of public organizations and citizens of Bendery.

In the course of the solemn event, a number of public and political figures, inter alia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak, were awarded state decorations for their contribution to peacemaking and security.