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Moldova’s new government seeks cooperation with Russia, says president

The Moldovan president said "the unresolved Transnistrian conflict is the main reason behind instability", noting that the new government and she personally were "ready to discuss security issues with the leadership of the countries in the region and international organizations"

CHISINAU, August 5./TASS/. The government of Natalia Gavrilita, whose confirmation will be discussed at a special session of the Moldovan parliament on August 6, plans to establish cooperation with Russia, President Maia Sandu told Jurnal TV television channel on Thursday.

"I think that right after the government is formed, we must discuss problems existing with the Russian Federation and establish cooperation," the president said. "Possibly, also at the level of the presidents, but this will be clear after the government is formed, since these talks are prepared by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. We have economic problems that must be solved," said Sandu, focusing specifically on the expansion of exports of Moldovan goods to Russia, social issues of Moldovan labor migrants and a new contract for the supply of Russian gas.

The Moldovan president said "the unresolved Transnistrian conflict is the main reason behind instability", noting that the new government and she personally were "ready to discuss security issues with the leadership of the countries in the region and international organizations".

"Among other things, we also intend to discuss the presence of Russian troops. We know that we have different positions on it with Moscow. But we are concentrated on maintaining peace, any attempts to destabilize the situation must be avoided, especially because of the Transnistrain conflict," Sandu pointed out. "Russia has recently expressed readiness to remove munitions stored in Transnistria," she reiterated.

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.