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Moldovan president elect says plans to invigorate 5+2 talks on Transnistrian settlement

Maia Sandu believes that the format has lost its functionality in the recent time

CHISINAU, December 8. /TASS/. Moldova’s President Elect Maia Sandu said on Monday she plans to invigorate the negotiating process on the Transnistrian settlement in the 5+2 format.

"First, we must elaborate a political solution inside the country, we should reach consensus on the national level, and then, invigorate work in the 5+2 format which has lost its functionality in the recent time," she said in an interview with the local Pro-TV channel.

Last week, leader of the unrecognized republic of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky said that talks with Moldova were in a state of stagnation at all levels, including intergovernmental dialogue.

Sandu won presidential elections in Moldova in November. Immediately after the polls, she said she was in favor of tougher dialogue with Tiraspol as a softer approached had been to no avail. She said she would not meet with the Transnistrian leader who doesn’t recognize Moldova’s territorial integrity. Krasnoselsky, in turn, opted to ignore these statements and called for the soonest resumption of dialogue.

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 European security watchdog OSCE as mediators and the United States and the European Union as observers) started after that.

The latest 5+2 talks in Bratislava in October 2019 that focused on trust-building measures failed to yield a final protocol and the sides agreed to continue these efforts at a conference in Bavaria in November. That meeting however brought about no progress either.