CHISINAU, November 26./TASS/. Moldovan President-elect Maia Sandu spoke in favor of saving the existing format of 5+2 (Moldova, Transnistria, the OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from the US and the EU) talks on Transnistria in an interview with Moldova 1 television on Thursday.
"We will continue discussion in this format," Sandu said in comments on options to make the negotiations more efficient. She believes that there are forces in Chisinau and Tiraspol that are not interested in the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.
"There are certain people making big money from contraband across the region of Transnistria. This makes the talks stalling. It will be an important move to stop this contraband and corruption," she stressed.
In reply to the question about a possible meeting with Transnistria’s leader Vadim Krasnoselsky, Sandu made it clear that she was not in favor of a mild dialogue with Tiraspol. "I will be working to solve problems of the citizens when they emerge. Otherwise, I am meeting only with those people who respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova," she said.
The term of office of incumbent President Igor Dodon expires on December 23.
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. They were followed by an outbreak of armed hostilities. By the summer, it had morphed 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 peacefully settling the conflict known as the 5+2 format talks had started after that.