And yet, that is what Valery Kuzmin is stating, as his boss Serghei Lavrov already did. "Transnistria and Moldova are equal negotiating partners".
No Mr Kuzmin, they are not;
1. Even you recognise (officially) that Transnistria is a constituent part of Moldova. If A is a subset of B, and there are elements in B which are not also in A, then A
2. Moldova is a member of the UN, and is recognised my just about all the countries of the world. Transnistria is recognised only by fellow Russia-sponsored bantustans like South Ossetia.
3. Right-bank Moldova's territory is many times the size of Transnistria's
4. Moldova has had several democratic changes of government since 1989; Transnistria has had none.
Mr Kuzmin went on to say that the equality of Moldova and Transnistria was a 'matter of principle' for the Russian Federation. I have been trying to locate this principle for several months, but the Russian side hasn't offered it up for public consumption. The closest I have come is a statement from Mr Kuzmin that 'negotiations can only take place between equal parties'. This is of course daft - were Russia and Georgia equal in the ceasefire negotiations of 2008? How about Russia nd Chechnya? Israel and Palestine? The fact is that negotiations usually take place between parties of different status and power.
Russia's real reason for demanding 'equality' is to control the final status. If the parties are equal in negotiations, then any reunified state will be a confederation of two equal parts, each of which will have a veto over major decision-making. Moscow, through its Transnistrian client, will be able to veto Moldovan moves to join NATO and even the EU. The situation becomes even worse if Gagauzia is brought into play as a third constituent of the confederation. This would hand Russia not just a veto, but also control.