At their meeting in Sochi — planned home of the 2014 Winter Olympics and just a hop, skip and APC ride from Abkhazia — Russia’s president Dmitri Medvedev warned Moldova’s president not to repeat the “Georgian mistake.”
Moldova, of course, claims Transnistria as part of its internationally recognized territory, but has never exercised actual control since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A Soviet Army, the 14th iirc, commanded at the time by Alexander Lebed, helped the Transnistrians enforce their counter-secession from Moldova. Since then, it’s continued its odd trajectory, something of a black hole in international legal term, reputed to be a haven for all manner of criminality and, not incidentally, an irritant to both Moldova and Ukraine.
“After the Georgian leadership lost their marbles, as they say, all the problems got worse and a military conflict erupted,” Medvedev told Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.
“This is a serious warning, a warning to all,” he added. “And I believe we should handle other existing conflicts in this context.”
Which context? Issuing Russian passports to anyone who asks and then claiming the right to intervene to protect “Russian citizens”?
“Frozen conflicts are a real volcano which can blow up anytime,” Voronin added. “That is why taking into account what had happened elsewhere it would be useful if we exercised again such wisdom not to allow such things to repeat in our country.”
The ripples from Georgia are just starting to spread.