MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been hindering the negotiation process concerning the Transnistrian issue, said the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large Sergei Gubarev, who represents Moscow at the "five-plus-two" talks (involving Moldova, Transnistria, the OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from the US and the EU).
While speaking at a round table at Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament), dedicated to the situation in Moldova and Transnistria, Gubarev pointed out that "the five-plus-two format is the only internationally recognized negotiation platform aimed at resolving the Transnistrian conflict." "But recently, some unclear processes have been going on. The OSCE chair country Austria has been hindering talks, although the organization is meant to make the parties to the negotiations gather and express their views of the situation," the Russian diplomat added.
Gubarev opposed the position of the OSCE acting chairman who believes that a full-fledged round of talks can only be arranged after the parties come to some kind of an understanding. "This is an incorrect message, because Tiraspol and Chisinau have been unable to come to terms for the past 25 years, otherwise there would have been no need for any mediators," the Russian ambassador noted.
In this connection, the Russian diplomat welcomed the initiative put forward by Moldovan President Igor Dodon and Transnistria’s head Vladimir Krasnoselsky, "aimed at forwarding a joint message to the OSCE acting chairman and demanding an early meeting of the group." "It’s a pity that this initiative has not been implemented yet," Gubarev said.
"The need to hold a meeting and discuss pressing issues had been there for a long time," he went on to say. "In my opinion, one of the pressing issues is that Ukraine and Moldova should guarantee that none of the parties will take unilateral steps aggravating the position of another party, particularly Transnistria." When speaking of such steps, Gubarev pointed to the joint check points being set up by Ukraine and Moldova on the Transnistrian-Ukrainian border. "Such guarantees would prove timely if given at an international platform," the Russian diplomat stressed.
The Russian ambassador-at-large pointed out that some years ago Moscow had come up with an initiative stipulating that Tiraspol and Chisinau make an agreement on drawing up a mechanism to include decisions made at the five-plus-two talks into their legislation. "What we see now is that agreements are reached but not implemented," Gubarev said. "In particular, there is a need to implement the protocol on freedom of movement which concerns, first and foremost, Russian citizens living in Transnistria. Unfortunately, most of the time they are not treated fairly at Chisinau airport," the diplomat added.