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Possibilities for Transnistrian settlement may open this summer — Moldovan president

"Then, interests of petty politicians on both banks of the Dniester and even across the River Prut [in Romania] will pale into insignificance," he said

CHISINAU, March 28. /TASS/. A window of possibilities for the Transnistrian settlement may open already this summer, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said on Tuesday at a news conference on the occasion of 100 days of his presidency.

"If there is geopolitical consensus, and I think such consensus may be reached already this summer, such window of possibilities may open. Then, interests of petty politicians on both banks of the Dniester and even across the River Prut [in Romania - TASS] will pale into insignificance," he said when asked by TASS about prospects of the negotiating process.

The Moldovan president said he understands the position of the Transnistrian leader who cites the results of the 2006 referendum when most of Transnistrian residents spoke in favor of independence from Moldova.

"I understand the position of [Transnistrian leader] Vadim Krasnoselsky who stands for independence. But this position is unacceptable for both Moldova’s political leadership and most of its population. It is unacceptable for the participants in the negotiating process in the 5+2 format," Dodon said, adding that both his country and other participants in the negotiating process want to continue constructive talks to settle the Transnistrian conflict.

Ahead of a forthcoming meeting with Dodon on March 30, Krasnoselsky said he stands for further talks both in the 5+2 format and directly with the Moldovan leader but "is not going to drop the position Transnistrians supported at the referendum."

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 peaceful 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.