DUBLIN, November 28 (Itar-Tass) — Official negotiations on the Transdniestrian settlement started in Dublin on Wednesday, November 28, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.
The three-day meeting brings together representatives of the sides, mediators and observers in the negotiations – Moldova, Transdniestria, the OSCE, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the US and the EU. The meeting was opened by Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister for European Affairs representing the OSCE Chair-in-Office and will be chaired by Ambassador Erwan Fouere, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian settlement process.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier earlier stressed his Organisation's support for the Transdniestrian settlement process and efforts to improve the lives of people on both banks of the river.
He also highlighted the work being done by the OSCE Mission on both banks of the Dniestr/Nistru River to build confidence between the sides as well as promote democratisation and human rights: "Our core mandate is of course focused on advancing the settlement process and building confidence, but it is important to recognize that real results on the ground cannot be achieved without continued progress in key areas such as democratization and good governance. The OSCE Mission remains committed to helping Moldova's efforts in this regard."
The Transdniesterian settlement talks in the “5+2” format were broken up at the end of February 2006.
Chisinau and Tiraspol managed to resume the dialogue with Russia’s assistance two years later at the level of political representatives. They gathered every month to resolve pressing problems of the population of Moldova and the breakaway republic.
In March 2009, the negotiations were resumed again after the trilateral meeting of the presidents of Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria.
Under Western pressure, Chisinau started talking about the need to include Romania in the negotiation process and raise the status of the U.S. to that of Russia's - from observer to guarantor. Some even suggested giving up Transdniestria claiming that it would be easier “to recreate the union” of Moldova and Romania without the breakaway region.
At the latest meetings in Moscow and Vilnius late last year and in Dublin this year, the parties agreed to resume the talks.
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.
Russia’s peacekeepers were brought into the zone of the Dniester conflict in 1992, which made it possible to stop the armed conflict.