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OSCE: Joint protocol signed on Transdniestria

The participants in the “five plus two” meeting on the Transdniestrian issue held in the German capital have adopted a joint protocol on further action to find ways out of the conflict, Special Representative for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Cord Meier-Klodt said on Friday.

“The signing of the joint protocol following joint negotiations has become the evidence of the unity in Berlin today,” he said.

For his part, head of the OSCE mission to Moldova Michael Scanlan noted that at the meeting the parties had taken commitments, formulated the tasks, set the terms to eliminate the problems in education, transportation, telecommunications and law enforcement.

According to Transdniestria’s acting Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev, Russia’s proposals “provided the basis for identifying the fullest and most clear sequence of priority steps essential to ensure the negotiation process.”

Protocol includes issues of ecology, communications, transport

Issues of ecology, telephone communications and transport served as basis for the protocol signed in the German capital after the meeting in the “5+2” format on Transdniestrian settlement, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador-at-Large Sergey Gubarev told reporters on Friday.

The “5+2” format brings together Moldova and Transdniestria as sides in the conflict; Russia, Ukraine and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as mediators; United States and European Union as observers.

The protocol represents “some type of homework for the sides to formulate resolutions on those issues that really can be settled,” Gubarev said. “The issues of ecology, environment protection and proper use of natural resources on the Dniester River were discussed,” the diplomat added.

“The second important matter is the issue of telephone communications. In fact, there is progress in resolving this problem, and there is hope that the resolution will be found in the nearest future, in the next couple of weeks,” Gubarev noted.

The sides also discussed “the possibility for vehicles, in particular those with Transdniestrian number plates, to exit Transdniestria and Moldova,” the diplomat said.

“The signed protocol is very important,” he concluded.

No one interested in changing “5+2” format

According to Gubarev, the existing “5+2” format for Transdniestrian settlement is a “successful international negotiations platform.” 

The “5+2” format brings together Moldova and Transdniestria as sides in the conflict; Russia, Ukraine and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as mediators; United States and European Union as observers.

“I don’t think that anyone is interested in changing the format in any way,” Gubarev said. “It is the mechanism that gives an opportunity to achieve concrete agreements,” he added adding that “internal logics, clear distribution of rules” exists in the framework of the “5+2” format.

However, the diplomat did not specify how regularly meetings in this format will be held in the future. “It is premature to talk about some kind of schedule now. We resumed official work after a two-year break. Our task is to start activities. I find it hard to forecast how many meetings will be held this year,” Gubarev said.

The “five plus two” talks involving Moldova, Transdniestria, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and EU and U.S. observers were not held since 2014. Two years ago Tiraspol withdrew from the dialogue accusing Moldova’s authorities, which initiated nearly 200 criminal cases against officials in the unrecognized republic, of exerting pressure on Transdniestria.

The Transdniestrian conflict started in March 1992 when the first clashes occurred between Moldovan police and Transdniestrian militia near the city of Dubossary, which were followed by an outbreak of armed hostilities. By summer, it had developed into large-scale fighting in Bendery, where about a thousand people were killed and tens of thousands were wounded and became refugees.

The fratricidal war was stopped after a peace agreement was signed in Moscow in July of the same year and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the conflict area. Since then, they have been guarding peace and calm in the region, together with their Moldovan and Transdniestrian colleagues, thus allowing Chisinau and Tiraspol to conduct negotiations on the settlement of the conflict around the breakaway republic.

Source: TASS


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