Would Germany make or break a resolution for Moldova's conflict with Russia over Transnistrian region?
Germany may have a strong influence in the Transnistrian conflict resolution. The opinion belongs to Kalman Mizsei, the former EU Special Representative to Moldova during 2007 – 2011. His main duty was to negotiate the solution for the Transnistrian conflict. He told Moldova.ORG that Germany “can do a lot to convince Russia that a fair settlement of the conflict is in everybody's interest two decades after the open conflict happened.”
Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized entity proclaimed in Tiraspol on September 2, 1990. 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.
Germany’s Angela Merkel is due to visit Moldova on August 22. This will be the first visit to Moldova of a German Chancellor. Although not too much information has been offered by the Moldovan officials regarding this trip, the experts believe that Ms. Merkel has an important message to tell to the Moldovan society.
“She is the most influential European politician whose voice is listened to not only in Brussels but also in Moscow,” Mr. Mizsei said. “Angela Merkel can do a lot to insist that the confidence building does not only mean a good relationship between Filat and Shevchuk; while this is an indispensable ingredient of success, this is just a beginning.”
Nicu Popescu, senior research fellow at the European Council on Foreign thinks that Germany can help Moldova by keeping the Transnistrian issue on the agenda of EU-Russian Federation relations.
“Russia has interests in the region and for most of the last two decades has not been supportive of a sustainable solution to the conflict. Thus German diplomatic support in talks with Russia over conflict settlement in Transnistria is very important in the attempts to bring the conflict closer to a solution,” Nicu Popescu told Moldova.ORG.
There are many speculations within the press that Angela Merkel will come up with a federalization solution for the Republic of Moldova in terms of the Transnistrian conflict resolution. In a story published on their website yesterday, Radio Voice of Russia writes that Angela Merkel “will offer Moldova a federalization of German type,” which would exist as a “Land inside federative Moldova.” Such a solution is not agreed by the Moldovan authorities.
Vladimir Socor, who is a political expert working for the Jamestown Foundation previously said that such a scenario is not desired.
“Any kind of federalization of Moldova means the dissolution of the state. It would transform the Republic of Moldova from a state in practically non-governed states, divided in small feudal principalities,” Mr. Socor said.
Kalman Mizsei believes that the best solution would be a European one, which would make Russia also feel that it is a fair deal. He pointed out that such a solution would restore the integrity of the Republic of Moldova with quite a big autonomy for Transnistria. Moreover, the former EU envoy to Moldova sees efficient a settlement that creates sustainable solutions with an effective mechanism of international oversight, involving the EU, Russia and Ukraine.
“It would tackle the twin issues of foreign troops in an independent state and Russia's expectation for genuine military neutrality [of Moldova],” Mr. Mizsei said.
By Valeriu Gonta