SOCHI, October 10./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged that Moscow will be making every effort towards a settlement on the conflict surrounding Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transnistria.
"We, for our part, will be doing everything we can for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, we will certainly act as guarantors of those agreements that can and must appear in the long run to have this problem settled once and for all in the interests of all people who live on this territory," the Russian president said at talks with Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon.
President Igor Dodon expressed gratitude to Russia "on behalf of the Moldovan people on the left and on the right banks" for its stance in the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. He reiterated that this year marked the 25th anniversary of the peacekeeping operation in Transnistria. "The role of this peacekeeping operation is very and very high," he stressed.
The Moldovan leader said the settlement of the problem goes in two stages. "There is a plan for the settlement of current problems - we have worked out and made proposals on the settlement of problems with car license plates... We came out with proposals on the settlement of problems with the fixed-line telephony, recognition of Transnistrian higher education institutions’ diplomas," he explained, expressing hope that these issues will be settled within the next few weeks.
"As to middle-term and long-term plans - it is a political settlement. We understand that it will be possible to get back to these issues only after the parliamentary election that is due in Moldova next year," he went on. Sharing his forecasts, President Dodon said "I am confident that it will be a pro-Moldovan parliament that will be aimed towards the settlement of this very important problem".
"One of the strategic tasks for me is exactly the settlement of the Transnistrian problem, this is important for all," Dodon said.
The Transnistrian conflict erupted in March 1992 when initial clashes occurred between Moldovan police and Transnistrian militia near the city of Dubossary, followed by an outbreak of armed hostilities. By the summer, it had developed into a large-scale conflict in Bendery, where about 1,000 people were killed and tens of thousands were wounded and ended up as refugees.
The civil war was brought to an end following a peace agreement signed in Moscow in July 1992 and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict zone.
Since then, they have been maintaining peace and calm in the region, together with their Moldovan and Transnistrian colleagues, thus allowing Chisinau and Tiraspol to conduct negotiations on settling the conflict regarding the breakaway republic.