CHISINAU, December 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The next round of the Dniester conflict settlement talks in the “5 + 2” format will be held Ireland at the end of February 2012, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Eugen Carpov told reporters on Wednesday.
The “5 + 2” format envisages participation of representatives from Moldova, the Dniester Republic, Russia, Ukraine, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and observers from the United States and the European Union.
A draft declaration on the principles of the talks, which envisages powers and role of negotiators, was represented during the last week’s meeting in Lithuania. Carpov expressed hope that the draft document will be considered during the next meeting.
“The stepping up of the dialog in 2011 testifies to the interests of the political forces and organisations in its promotion,” the deputy prime minister said.
He hopes for a fresh impetus, which is expected to be given after the victory of Yevgeny Shevchuk at the presidential election in the Dniester Republic.
“During Smirnov’s presidency, the politics remained unchanged many years. With Shevchuk, the talks have a chance to come to a new level – of more openness and transparency,” Carpov said.
The work of the permanent consultative body in the “5 + 2” format was resumed in the Lithuanian capital after the many-year pause.
The Dniester settlement talks in the “5 + 2” format were broken at the end of February 2006.
Chisinau and Tiraspol managed to resume the dialogue with Russia’s assistance two years later. As a result, the leader of the Dniester republic Igor Smirnov and then Moldovan president Vladimir Voronin met in the town of Bendery on April 11, 2008 for the first time over the past seven years. Back then, they agreed to restart regular contacts and thus resume the Dniester conflict settlement negotiations.
But then, the process was suspended due to the instable political situation in Moldova, who cannot elect a president over two and a half years.
The Dniester Republic is formally a part of Moldova that has a predominantly non-Moldovan population and that has been seeking independence for itself since the very beginning of the 1990’s.
The standoff between the breakaway territory and Moldova’s central government escalated into a bloody armed conflict in 1992 where thousands of people lost lives or were severely wounded.