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Next 5+2 meeting on Transnistrian settlement to be held in September — Russian diplomat

Russian Ambassador-at-Large Sergey Gubarev said that "the latest meeting in the 5+2 format was held more than a year ago in Rome"

VIENNA, June 28. /TASS/. Another round of Transnistrian settlement talks in the 5+2 format will be held in Slovakia in September, Russian Ambassador-at-Large Sergey Gubarev, who represents Russia in the negotiating process, told TASS on Friday.

"The latest meeting in the 5+2 format was held more than a year ago in Rome, and there have been no such meetings since then," Gubarev said. "I hope our format will gather in September in Slovakia and we will resume normal, stable and regular work because a couple of meetings a year is obviously not enough."

He recalled that the statutory documents of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues in the Framework of the Transnistria Settlement Process, known as the 5+2 format, envisage five to six meetings a year. "And it is absolutely right," he noted.

"Such meetings should not always yield some landmark documents but they are needed, first, to monitor the implementation of the decisions taken and approved in this format," Gubarev said. "Second, over the years of its existence, the 5+2 collective mind has demonstrated its best more than once and helped to find ways of further progress on the path of Transnistrian settlement."

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 peace settlement, known as the 5+2 format talks, involving Moldova and Transnistria as parties to the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as mediators and the United States and the European Union as observers, started after that.

The latest 5+2 meeting in Rome in May 2018 yielded solutions to a number of long-term problems, such as the joint use of border lands and operation of Moldovan schools in Transnistria. Chisinau recognized Transnistrian diplomas. Apart from that, a bridge across the Dniester was opened, and the process of legalization of Transnistrian car plates began.