While the negotiations on Transdniestr continue to be frozen, the relations between Moldova and Ukraine continue to register variations with more downs than ups. Even though at the first time it could be hard to understand the reason of the moves, very often the lecture should take into consideration an important contribution of the Russian strategies in the region.
Transdniestr is one of the pieces of this game. When the Moldavian Parliament decided mid-July to ban the use of Communist symbols, the first victims were the communists from Tiraspol which are still using the hammer and sickle. The same Parliament decided the condemnation of the crimes commited under the Soviet regime, another arrow sent in the direction of Moscow.
The consequence: a couple of days ago, a journalist from Moldova, Semion Niculin, who worked for the Unified Control Commission in Kyiv, was arrested on suspicion of spionage. The information was confirmed by the Ministry of Interior and European Integration from Kishinev. Niculin was arrested in an apartment in Kyiv where, according to the rumors and news released by now, he was trying to obtain secret documents. At the first sight, Niculin - who risks from 8 to 15 years of prison if the accusations are proved true - might be a small fish. On the other hand, due to the fact that he was employed by the Unified Control Commission as press officer, might shed a bad light on the institution as such and on the entire negotiation process.
Regardless of what will happen with Niculin, this is a short warning sent by Moscow to Moldova - EU and NATO candidate - via the loyal supporters from Ukraine. A new and more important episode of the dispute could occur at any time.