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Transnistrian leader calls to ask OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to resume 5+2-format talks

June 22, 4:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

As was initially agreed, meetings in this format are to be convened at least six times a year

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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Leader of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky has called on the parties to the Transnistria settlement talks in the 5+2 format to refer a joint appeal to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Sebastian Kurz, asking to convene another round of talks.

"Since the beginning of this year, we have been observing unwillingness of our partners to negotiate in the 5+2 format," Krasnoselsky said in an interview with Russia’s Izvestia newspaper published on Thursday.

"In January, February and March, we wrote a lot of letters both to the mediators and parties to that format. Apart from that we wrote to foreign ministers of all countries of the European Union calling on them to influence the situation," he said.

According to the Transnistrian leader, certain political forces are seeking to squeeze Transnistria and Russia out of the negotiating process and deprive his republic of the right to have say in this format.

"I see that no one is willing to convene a 5+2 meeting, but for Russia and Transnistria. In words, all members of this format want it but in deed, no one does. So, let us jointly appeal to Kurz," he said and called to break the protracted pause in the negotiating process.

Transnistria, a largely Russian-speaking region, broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its relations with Moldova’s central government in Chisinau have been highly mixed and extremely tense at times ever since then. In 1992 and 1993, tensions erupted into a bloody armed conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides.

The fratricidal war was stopped after a peace agreement was signed in Moscow in 1992 and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict area. Negotiations on the conflict’s peaceful settlement known as the 5+2 format talks (involving Moldova and Transnistria as parties to the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the European security watchdog OSCE as mediators and the United States and the European Union as observers) started after that.

As was initially agreed, meetings in this format are to be convened at least six times a year. The latest such meeting was held in June 2016 in Berlin, after a two-year break, and yielded a protocol where the sides agreed to settle the problem of mutual recognition of documents and establish cooperation in the sphere of telecommunications. Apart from that, they undertook to abandon criminal prosecution of official and refrain from unilateral actions. However these agreements have not been fully implemented.

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