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Moldova preparing a special status for Transnistria

Transnistrian President Yevgeny Shevchuk and Foreign Minister Nina Shtanski have received an OSCE delegation led by OSCE Special Representative for the Moldovan-Transnistrian conflict Radojko Bogojevic.

According to the press service of the Transnistrian president, the sides discussed the possibility for restarting the 5+2 format (Moldova and Transnistria as conflicting parties + Russia and Ukraine as guarantors + the OSCE as mediator + the European Union and the United States as observers).

Bogojevic informed Shevchuk of OSCE CiO Ivica Dacic’s initiative to hold a 5+2 meeting in Belgrade next autumn.

Shevchuk said that there are no ready documents for the 5+2 format. “We are ready to continue the talks but I see no sense in the meeting until experts consider specific mechanisms to eliminate factors preventing normal interaction. For the time being, we can’t be optimistic given the unfriendly and aggressive attitude of our Moldovan and Ukrainian partners. So, we are asking the OSCE to search for ways to alleviate the existing tension and to solve some of the chronic problems,” Shevchuk said.

He said that just like the other parties involved in the 5+2 format, Transnistria also has interests. “Today, we are facing growing social-economic tension. So, if our Moldovan partners do not want to help us, I am asking them at least not to hinder our attempts to overcome the crisis,” Shevchuk said.

He said that today Transnistria is facing serious artificial restrictions by Ukraine and Moldova. “We hope that the international mediators and guarantors will help us to find a solution to this problem,” the Transnistrian president said.

He said that it is no longer the time for good wishes only. “Today we need specific steps and results. We are ready to negotiate but only a specific agenda,” Shevchuk said.

Bogojevic thanked the parties for the meeting. He said that the OSCE is aware of the fears of the Transnistrian side and realizes the need to find a solution to this problem.

Before the meeting, Bogojevic met with Moldovan officials.

In the meantime, the OSCE PA group on Moldova met in Helsinki after a three-year pause. The Moldovan side was represented by MP Sergiu Sirbu.

The priority of the group is to resolve the Transnistrian problem. The sides reconfirmed their commitment to promote peace, stability and supremacy of law in Moldova and to ensure the country’s territorial integrity through a dialogue.

Sirbu presented Moldova’s priorities on the Transnistrian conflict. He stressed the need for continued dialogue.

He said that Moldova advocates continuation of the 5+2 format with no preconditions as well as more active economic ties between people on both banks of Dniester.

Sibru said that it is important that Transnistria enjoy the privileges of Moldova’s deep and comprehensive free trade area agreement with the European Union as well as a special autonomous status within Moldova. Concerning the idea of federalization, Sibru said that it is unacceptable.

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