CHISINAU, January 26. /TASS/. Transnistrian settlement talks can be invigorated after the early parliamentary elections and formation of a new government in Moldova, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said on Tuesday at a meeting with OSCE Special Representative for the Transnistrian Settlement Process Thomas Mayr-Harting in Chisinau.
"Sandu noted that a new fully-fledged government is needed to give a fresh impetus to the domestic process, including those concerning Transnistrian settlement, and such government can be formed only after early parliamentary elections," the press service of the Moldovan head of state said.
"We once again reiterated that we will continue trying to find solely peaceful ways to narrow the gap between the two banks and noted that we consider people living on the Dniester’s left bank as Moldovan citizens who should enjoy all the rights," the press service quoted Sandu as saying.
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 settlement talks began to lose momentum in 2019 amid the election campaigns in Moldova. Not a single round of 5+2 talks were organized in 2020. A number of agreements between Chisinau and the the unrecognized republic are now in a suspended state. Meanwhile, after the presidential polls in November 2020 Sandu made a series of tough statements in respect of Tiraspol, giving to understand she was not inclined towards smooth dialogue.