Moldovan President to Angela Merkel: Russia should withdraw their military forces from Moldova
The Transnistrian settlement wasn’t a subject widely debated during Angela Merkel’s visit to Moldova. Only the President Nicolae Timofti emphasized that “Russia should withdraw their military from Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria according to the international regulations.” The other Moldovan officials Ms. Merkel met with discussed mostly about the European integration of the country.
Angela Merkel said she will continue to advocate finding a solution for the Transnistrian conflict, making sure the issue remains on the European agenda. According to a press release, the German Chancellor said that within the talks with the Russian side, Germany is telling Russia that progress has to be achieved in regard to the issue.
Nicolae Timofti reiterated that the peacekeeping forces at the security zone “have exhausted their mission and they should be transformed into a civil body under international supervision.
The German official did not offer any specific details about the way the Transnistrian conflict should be settled, although she recognized that the “5+2” talks are the right format to follow.
“We have to move forward step by step. We must be patient in this process,” Angela Merkel said.
Unofficial sources previously stated that Germany would come up with a federalization solution for the Transnistrian conflict, fact unwanted by the Moldovan side. Angela Merkel did not refer to any solutions, finding the “5+2” talks the most suitable as a mean of conflict resolution.
The “5+2” negotiations have been resumed after a six-year-long hiatus. The format includes representatives of the sides, mediators and observers in the negotiation process - Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE (as mediators), and the US and the EU (as observers).
Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized entity proclaimed in Tiraspol on September 2, 1990, initially styled the Moldavian Transnistrian Soviet Socialist Republic. Currently known as the Moldavian Transnistrian Republic, this breakaway entity consists of a narrow strip of land (180 km by 32 km) nestled between the east bank of the Nistru River and the border of Moldova with Ukraine, on a small part of what used to be, between 1924 and 1940, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1992 escalated a conflict between Moldova and Russia over this territory. A cease-fire was signed the same year by president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and president of Moldova Mircea Snegur. An agreement to withdraw all Russian forces from the trans-Nistrian districts of the Republic of Moldova was signed by Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin in 1994. It stipulated that the 14th Army was to leave the Republic of Moldova within three years, but the agreement was never ratified by the Duma, Russia’s legislature.