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Moldovan president lists conditions to resume extended talks on Transnistrian settlement

July 22, 2017, 1:46 UTC+3 CHISINAU

These include draft decisions on recognition of diplomas and car number plates of the unrecognized republic and the problem of communications between the two banks of the Dniester, Igor Dodon said

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CHISINAU, July 22. /TASS/. Chisinau has handed over to Tiraspol a list of conditions to resume 5+2 talks on the Transnistrian settlement, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said on Friday.

In his words, these include draft decisions on recognition of diplomas and car number plates of the unrecognized republic and the problem of communications between the two banks of the Dniester.

"We have found solutions and offered them [to Tiraspol]. Unofficially, they say these are good solutions but they don’t want to sign them so far," he told RTR-Moldova television channel. "It is the only chance to convene the 5+2 format in September. If we have nothing concrete on at least one of the issues, it will be very uneasy to talks the partners into meeting in the extended format."

According to Dodon, Chisinau also expects concessions from Tiraspol on such issues as Moldovan schools in Transnistria and joint use of land around Dubasari.

He said that Transnistria’s unwillingness to make concessions obviously stems from Chisinau’s plans to establish control over Transnistria’s borders and opening of the first checkpoint. Tiraspol claims that Moldova is seeking to exert pressure on Transnistria by means of controlling its foreign trade operations. Thus, Transnistrial President Vadim Krasnoselsky warned that deployment of Moldovan law enforcers in the vicinity of places of deployment of the Transnistrian military’s is fraught with aggravation of the conflict and may threaten regional stability.

In this context, Moldova’s president said he pins hopes for a Moldovan visit by Russian Deputy Prime Minister and president’s envoy for Transnistrian settlement Dmitry Rogozin scheduled for late July. According to Dodon, it is planned to hold a trilateral meeting with the Transnistrian leader.

The Transnistrian foreign ministry earlier called to resume 5+2 talks over growing tensions in the region. The Russian foreign ministry also expressed concern over the escalation of tension and supported the idea of arranging such talks. However, Wolf-Dietrich Heim (c), Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transniestrian settlement process, who has recently visited Moldova and Transnistria, said that such extended talks should be preceded by bilateral agreements between Chisinau and Tiraspol that would be worded into official documents at the 5+2 talks.

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.

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