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Moldovan president refused to sign Kozak Memorandum under pressure - diplomat

November 30, 2011, 17:58 UTC+3
The United States and the European Union exerted pressure on Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin in November 2003
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CHISINAU, November 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The United States and the European Union exerted pressure on Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin in November 2003 to make him sign a memorandum on Transdniestria settlement drafted with the assistance of Dmitry Kozak, a deputy Kremlin chief of staff at that time.

U.S. diplomat William Hilll, who head the OSCE Mission in Chisinau back then, said in an interview with the Moldovan newspaper Kommersant md published on Wednesday, November 30.

According to Hill, Voronin refused to sign the memorandum because of an article concerning Russia’s military presence in Transdniestria.

The United States, EU and OSCE officials objected to the military presence that had not been discussed with the other parties to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

Having learnt of three new articles concerning Russia’s military presence in Transdniestria, Voronin was telephoned and instructed not to sign the memorandum, the diplomat said.

In his opinion, the very fact that all interested sides did not participate in the drafting of the document was a serious obstacle to its signing and eventually left it unsigned.

There was not full understanding and trust, he added.

At the same time, Hill believes that the principle of federative system in Moldova proposed in the Kozak Memorandum can provide a proper basis for a good resolution of the Transdniestrian problem.

All of the OSCE countries have been discussing the idea of federalisation for a long time, since 1993, but it is hard to implement now, and time and effort are needed on the part of all mediators and parties to the talks.

Hill said one should not expect quick results from the “5+2” Transdniestrian talks that resumed in Vilnius on November 30.

There have been no official negotiations for more than five years and there have been only a few unofficial contacts. The parties need to resume the dialogue and build trust, the diplomat said.

He regretted that the current situation surrounding the talks is more complex than it was in 2003.

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