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Lavrov urges discussion on Transdniestria status as part of united Moldova

April 04, 2016, 13:26 UTC+3

Moscow and Chisinau are interested in stepping up efforts on resolving the accumulated issues in bilateral relations, including on the situation in Transdniestria

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Moldova's Foreign Minister Andrey Galbur and  Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Moldova's Foreign Minister Andrey Galbur and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. Russia is ready to continue its mediating effort in the Transdniestria settlement and to discuss the final status of the region as part of the united Moldova, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Moldovan counterpart Andrei Galbur on Monday.

"Russia is prepared to implement its functions as a mediator at talks and a guarantor of the reached agreements," Lavrov said. "We want the current stage of mistrust between Chisinau and Tiraspol to be overcome and that we all try to find a solution that meets the interests of all-encompassing and viable settlement of the situation."

"We have a common understanding of the role of the 5+2 format as the only generally recognized one as part of which the negotiations should take place," Lavrov said.

Moscow agrees that step by step the viability of this tool should be restored and the sides should switch to solving complex issues including "defining the final status of Transdniestria as part of the united, indivisible and neutral Moldova," the foreign minister said.

Moldova's association agreement with EU affected Russian-Moldovan trade relations

According to the Russian diplomat, Moldova's signing of the assosication agreement with the EU has affected all the business relations between Moscow and Chisinau.

"We have discussed the situation, which developed after [Moldova's] signing in 2014 of the Association Agreement and the free trade zone with the European Union, which has affected the entire complex of our business relations," he said.

"We have agreed to provide for an intensive work on solutions of the existing problems," Lavrov said.

Foreign ministries of Russia and Moldova "are aimed at organizing a meeting of the Russian-Moldovan inter-governmental commission within the current year," he said.

Current state of Russia-Moldova relations not satisfactory

Moscow welcomes the desire of Moldova’s new government to develop cooperation with Russia, Sergey Lavrov went on to say.

"We’ve held frank, substantial talks with the minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Moldova," the Russian foreign minister said. "We have the common understanding that the current state of affairs in our relations cannot cause satisfaction," Lavrov said.

"We’ve heard that Moldova’s new government is interested in developing cooperation with Russia and welcomed this attitude," Lavrov added. "We have confirmed readiness to jointly seek solutions to outstanding bilateral issues based on the provisions of the 2001 agreement on friendship and cooperation between our countries."

Lavrov hails Moldova’s readiness to support Russian language

Russia has heeded Moldova’s confirmation of its intention to support the Russian language in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday following talks with his Moldovan counterpart Andrei Galbur.

According to Lavrov, the parties discussed "the humanitarian aspect of the bilateral relations the citizens of our two countries are interested in, taking into account the historical, cultural and spiritual ties between our peoples."

"We agreed to speed up the coordination of the intergovernmental humanitarian cooperation program for the next three-year period," Lavrov said. "It will help expand contacts between people, deepen cooperation in the education and information areas."

"We heeded the confirmation, for which we are grateful, of Moldova’s willingness and intention to continue supporting the Russian language in the country."

The Russian foreign minister noted that the parties had also discussed "separate aspects associated with the implementation of the existing agreements on the visa-free regime between our two countries." We considered the problematic situations that emerged relating to the rights of Russian journalists and the work of Russian-language media in Moldova," he added.

"We agreed to make sure that the agreement on the mutual recognition of documents on education, which was signed in 2003, begins to work in full force and capacity," Lavrov said. "So far, this does not happen. We have mutual interest here in changing this situation."

Lavrov noted importance of raising issue of Transdniestrian settlement

Moscow and Chisinau are interested in stepping up efforts on resolving the accumulated issues in bilateral relations, including on the situation in Transdniestria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday opening talks with his Moldovan counterpart Andrei Galbur.

"We welcome you in Moscow. I am glad that your first visit in this capacity is to Russia," Lavrov told Galbur.

"We see the interest of both sides not only to ensure continuity in relations but also to step up efforts on resolving the issues that have been accumulated on the bilateral agenda, and what concerns the importance of promoting Transdniestrian settlement," the Russian top diplomat said.

"Just recently Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has held intense talks in Chisinau and Tiraspol, as a result of which issues were determined that we will discuss in detail today," he added.

Talking about international cooperation, the Russian foreign minister noted dialogue between the two countries in the framework of UN, OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and Council of Europe.

The Transdniestrian conflict started in March 1992 when the first clashes occurred between Moldovan police and Transdniestrian militia near the city of Dubossary, which were followed by an outbreak of armed hostilities. By summer, it had developed into large-scale fighting in Bendery, where about a thousand people were killed and tens of thousands were wounded and became refugees.

The fratricidal war was stopped after a peace agreement was signed in Moscow in July of the same year and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict area. Since then, they have been guarding peace and calm in the region, together with their Moldovan and Transdniestrian colleagues, thus allowing Chisinau and Tiraspol to conduct negotiations on the settlement of the conflict around the breakaway republic.

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