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Talks on breakaway Transnistria may restart in November

October 30, 19:51 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Tensions between Chisinau and Tiraspol are escalating

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CHISINAU, October 30. /TASS/. Participants in negotiations on a settlement of the conflict surrounding Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transnistria expect to restart meetings in the 5+2 format in November, says the press service of the Moldovan government after consultations of Prime Minister Pavel Filip with 5+2 representatives.

"The participants in the meeting noted real preconditions for convening a meeting in the 5+2 format (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 - TASS) by the end of November," the statement said. The press service said the biggest progress was reached by the parties in the issue of opening a bridge across the Dniester River connecting the settlements of Bychok and Gura Bicului and going through a major highway between Chisinau and Odessa.

Progress was also registered on the issue of recognizing documents on the establishment of the unrecognized republic.

Under the procedure, 5+2 format meetings must be convened at least six times a year. However, the latest meeting was held in Berlin in the summer of 2016. The parties signed a protocol, which has failed to be implemented, however.

Meanwhile, tensions between Chisinau and Tiraspol are escalating. In this situation, Moscow has urged a new session in the 5+2 format as soon as possible. Tiraspol voiced an active support, and Chisinau also agreed, but the European security agency said the sides in the conflict must reach preliminary agreements on some thorny issues before such a meeting.

Moldova’s Transnistrian quagmire

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. 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.

Since 1992, Russian peacekeepers 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.

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