OSCE Chairmanship official urges for more progress in Transnistrian conflict resolution
The Representative of the Irish Chair-in-Office of the OSCE, Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton is impressed by the results achieved by sides within the “5+2” talks for Transnistrian conflict resolution. During her visit to Moldova on Thursday, the official underlined the need to keep the negotiations on a political settlement of the conflict on the same track.
“I am encouraged by the progress we have seen this year, notably the agreement on the principles and procedures for the conduct of negotiations and on the agenda for the process,” said Creighton. “We have seen some positive developments on the ground as well, including the re-opening of rail freight traffic through Transnistria and the disposal of radioactive waste."
Mrs. Creighton met Moldova’s President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Vlad Filat, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Eugene Carpov and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca. She also traveled to Tiraspol where she met with so-called Transnistrian foreign minister Nina Shtanski.
The Irish official welcomed the recent establishment of a joint forum for dialogue with civil society and media from both banks of Nistru River. She pointed out that such achievements were possible because of to the sides’ political will and positive approach towards reaching a consensus.
“With this positive and constructive approach there could also be progress on issues concerning freedom of movement and resolution of problems facing Moldovan-administered schools in Transnistria,” Mrs. Creighton said. “In both my roles representing the OSCE Chairmanship and the incoming EU Presidency I urge the sides to agree on the re-opening of the Gura Bicului Bridge for vehicle traffic. This bridge was renovated by the EU more than 10 years ago and it is high time that this important connection between both banks of the river is restored.”
The Transnistrian conflict settlement is made within the “5+2” format. It 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.