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OSCE, Russia warn Chisinau, Tiraspol against unilateral steps in Transdniestrian settlement

July 11, 2013, 17:35 UTC+3

It would be naive to believe that the problems, which have accumulated in the past 20 years, can be solved for several months, the Russian ambassador said

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TIRASPOL, July 11 (Itar-Tass) - OSCE Special Envoy Andrey Deshchitsa and Russian ambassador at large Sergei Gubarev have warned Chisinau and Tiraspol against unilateral steps, which complicate the talks on the Transdniestrian settlement.

The OSCE and Russian high-ranking diplomats met Transdniestrian Foreign Minister Nina Stanski on Thursday to discuss preparations for the upcoming round of talks within the 5+2 format (Moldova, Transdniestria, the OSCE, Ukraine, Russia and observers from the EU and the United States) due to take place in Vienna on July 16-17.

“After we met Moldovan Vice-Prime Minister for Reintegration Yevgeny Karpov in Chisinau on Wednesday we urged the parties not to take unilateral actions related to people who live on both banks of the Dniester River,” Deshchitsa said. “This is related to the free movement of citizens,” he added.

Deshchitsa said Chisinau and Tiraspol “have an excellent opportunity to solve the problem at the meeting of political representatives and discuss it at the 5+2 talks”.

“Russia comes against any unilateral actions within the Transdniestrian problem. We believe that the key issue due to be resolved is to strengthen confidence-building measures between both banks of the Dniester River,” Gubarev said.

It would be naive to believe that the problems, which have accumulated in the past 20 years, can be solved for several months, the Russian ambassador said.

The Odessa talks in May did not yield any result. The mediators recommended Chisinau and Tiraspol to step up contacts at the level of political representatives. But the contacts failed. Moreover, ahead of the meeting in Vienna tension started to heighten after Moldova, which seeks liberalization of the visa regime with the European Union, has set migration posts on the administrative border. Transdniestrian leader Yevgeny Shevchuk condemned these steps that bear risks for residents of the region. Most of them have Russian and Ukrainian passports.

Preparations for the meeting in Vienna are complicated by the fact that Chisinau calls for starting discussions of the future status of Transdniestria. Tiraspol considers this timely. “Unfortunately, we’re u unable to promote the settlement of the conflict. There is certain stagnation in the work of all platforms, which take part in the negotiations,” the Moldovan minister for reintegration said.

“Today we haven’t talked about who is guilty of what to do. There are issues that we’d like to discuss and resolve in Vienna. These are social and economic issues what resolution will improve living standards of the population,” Stanski said.

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