TIRASPOL, September 7. /TASS/. Tiraspol has blamed the European security agency for a pause in talks on the settlement on the conflict surrounding Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transnistria in the 5+2 format (involving Moldova and Transnistria as parties to the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the the OSCE as mediators and the United States and the European Union as observers).
"Everything depends on the incumbent chairperson-in-office, as the Moldovan side has no fundamental objections against such a dialogue, and I hope that we will be able to convince colleagues from the OSCE to give us such a possibility," the foreign minister of Moldova’s breakaway republic said on Thursday in comments on the absence of meetings in an expanded format throughout almost nine months of the Austrian chairmanship.
"Unfortunately, it is difficult for Chisinau and Tiraspol to settle certain issues alone - we have heard theses about political will, but Transnistria has already made a number of moves to meet the expectations of the Moldovan side half-way," Vitaly Ignatiev told reporters after meeting in Tiraspol with Wolf-Dietrich Heim, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transnistrian Settlement Process.
The Austrian diplomat noted that conditions for such a meeting have not been created as of yet. He said both sides must demonstrate more flexibility and more courage. In this case, a meeting could be held in October, and another one in November, he said, adding that the sides should demonstrate readiness to fix the arrangements in agreements.
Ignatiev said the atmosphere of a Moldova-Transnistria dialogue "is critically deteriorating". He believes that talks, even if difficult, could yield more practical results.
Under the protocol, at least six meetings a year must be held in the 5+2 format. The latest meeting was held in Berlin in 2016 after a two-year break, and ended up with the signing of a protocol. The parties agreed to settle problems in recognizing documents, as well as establish cooperation in the spheres of telecommunications and communication, give up mutual criminal prosecution of officials. However, the agreements have failed to be implemented in full.
The Russian Foreign Ministry comes out in favor of an early resumption of 5+2 format talks, saying the OSCE is responsible for the fact they stall.
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 in the 5+2 format on settling the conflict regarding the breakaway republic.