KIEV, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has voiced concern over an address by the authorities of Transdniestria to Russia asking to be recognized as an independent state.
“The difficult social and economic situation in Transdniestria has been conditioned by artificial self-isolation,” the ministry says.
The situation “can be settled through European integration that citizens on both banks of the Dniester River can choose. It envisions free movement, economic modernization, European security standards and prosperity”, it says.
On April 16, Transdniestria’s Supreme Council adopted the statement addressed to the lower and upper houses of the Russian parliament - the State Duma and the Federation Council, as well as to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the parliament told ITAR-TASS.
The Council explained that the decision was based on the results of a referendum held in Russian-speaking Transdniestria in 2006, in which 97% of the region’s residents voted for independence from Moldova and for subsequent accession to Russia.
Putin's position on Transdniestria
On April 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed intensifying dialogue on the future of Transdniestria.
“This is one of the most complicated problems we inherited after the collapse of the USSR. It has a population of over half a million, people are really very pro-Russian. A large number of Russian nationals,” Putin said during a live Q&A session.
“People have their own idea on how to build their future, their destiny. It’s nothing else but a manifestation of democracy if we allow them to do as they want to,” he said.
“Dialogue should certainly be led with Moldova and Ukraine, talks should be intensified in line with the ‘5 plus 2’ formula (Moldova, Transdniestria as parties to the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as intermediaries and the European Union and the United States as observers),” Putin said.
“The blockade, which negative consequences are currently felt by the people living in Transdniestria, should be lifted both on the part of Moldova and Ukraine,” he said.
“Nationalistic armed formations have already been deployed to the border with Transdniestria by Ukraine. The situation should certainly be stopped as soon as possible,” the Russian president said.
Situation in Transdniestria
The Transdniestrian settlement talks in 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. At their meetings in Moscow and Vilnius late last year and in Dublin this year, the parties agreed to resume the talks.
The agenda of the 5+2 talks consists of three sets of issues: socioeconomic problems, humanitarian issues and human rights, and comprehensive settlement, including institutional, political and security issues.
The previous round of the 5+2 talks was held in Brussels in October of 2013. The next round of the 5+2 talks on the Transdniestrian settlement process will take place in Vienna on February 27 and 28.