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Russian deputy PM and Dniester envoy begins visit to Moldova

April 16, 2012, 1:13 UTC+3

Rogozin will also visit the Tiraspol University and will meet with the command of the Russian forces deployed in the region

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CHISINAU, April 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Monday begins a two-day visit to Moldova to discuss the Russian-Moldovan relations and the Dniester settlement.

According to the Russian embassy in Chisinau, on Monday, Rogozin will meet with Moldova’s new President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Vlad Filat, and with the co-chairman of the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission. Later in the day, Rogozin, who is the Russian co-chair of the commission, will give a briefing for journalists and will set off for Tiraspol, where he, as a Russia’s president’s special envoy for the Dniester settlement, plans meetings with the leader of the self-proclaimed republic, Yevgeny Shevchuk, and other officials.

“The day after tomorrow, I will be in Tiraspol: I will meet with President Yevgeny Shevchuk, compatriots and our servicemen,” Rogozin wrote in his Twitter blog on Sunday.

Rogozin will also visit the Tiraspol University and will meet with the command of the Russian forces deployed in the region.

Moldova’s political life has enliven after Rogozin was appointed Russian president’s Dniester envoy. Some say the Kremlin would not have entrusted the mission with a political heavyweight if it had no serious settlement project. Others believe Rogozin’s task is to preserve the status quo in the region, which has been showing signs of a thaw. After Shevchuk was elected president of the Dniester Republic, he has already held three meetings with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, which yielded agreements to resume railway traffic via the Dniester Region and landline telephone communication.

Rogozin’s appointment was met differently in Chisinau and Tiraspol. Whereas the Moldovan foreign ministry expressed regret that this appointment had not been agreed with official Chisinau, Dniester leader Yevgeny Shevchuk sent a telegram of greetings to the Russian deputy prime minister. In the telegram, he expressed confidence that Rogozin’s appointment “will help enhance the protection of Russians residing in the Dniester region.” The head of the European Union’s delegation to Moldova, Dirk Schuebel, expressed the hope that Rogozin will play a constructive role in the talks in the Five Plus Two format, involving Moldova, the Dniester Republic, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, Ukraine, and observers from the United State and the European Union. The talks were disrupted in February 2006, when the Moldovan delegation accused Tiraspol of intractability and withdrew. Two years later, the talks were resumed thanks to Russia’s efforts. In April 2008, Moldova’s and Dniester Region’s former presidents had a meeting, the first one after a seven-year break. Later, the process was suspended because of the instable political situation in Moldova. Since then, the Dniester settlement has been tackled at informal consultations between the parties, mediators and observers. The latest such meetings, in Moscow and Vilnius late in 2011, and in Dublin in 2012, yielded an agreement to resume the negotiating process.

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