Vienna hosts first round of 5+2 talks on Transnistria in 2011
The first round of full-format Transnistrian settlement negotiations in 2011 was held in Vienna on 14-15 February. The Moldovan delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Eugen Carpov, the government's communications and press relations department has said.
The participants in the event [Moldova and the Transnistrian region as sides in the conflict, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE as mediators, and the EU and the USA as observers] tackled a wide range of issues concerning the promotion of confidence-building measures between the two banks of the Dniester river, ways to ensure the freedom of movement, guarantees in the settlement process and prospects for resuming the official 5+2 talks in 2011.
Moldova's delegation advocated the unconditional resumption of political negotiations in the 5+2 format [which were suspended back in 2006]. In this respect, the mediators and observers pointed out the existence of all the pre-requisites necessary to resume the official talks, with the subject due to be discussed at the next meeting.
At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Eugen Carpov drew the delegations' attention to important problems, especially the hindrance of the free movement of people and goods between the two banks of the Dniestre, difficulties faced by the Latin-script Moldovan schools based in Transnistria, as well as the situation from the security zone. The Moldovan delegation asked the Transnistrian authorities to take specific actions in order to settle the existing problems.
Also, the participants in the meeting considered ways to boost the activity of the confidence-building working groups. The Moldovan delegation asked that the working group dealing with education should start working, and that working groups in other important areas should be set up. The delegation confirmed the Moldovan authorities' willingness to further facilitate the economic activity of entrepreneurs from the left bank of the Dniestre.
A special subject to the discussion was the recent conviction of Moldovan citizens by Transnistrian bodies. The Moldovan delegation asked that [journalist] Ernest Vardanean and [tax officer] Ilie Cazac [who have been jailed on charges of "high treason and espionage in Moldova's favour"] should be set free without delay. The Moldovan representatives called on the international partners to join efforts to meet this goal.
At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed upon the schedule of activities planned for 2011.Moldpres