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Chisinau and Tiraspol agree to open bridge across Dniester

On Nov 3, political representatives of Moldova and Transnistria had a meeting at the Chisinau OSCE mission. The parties came to an agreement and signed a protocol to open a bridge across the Dniester River near the villages of Gura Bîcului and Bacioc.

The issue was initiated by Tiraspol. The subject was discussed at a meeting of Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky with the head of OSCE Mission in Moldova Michael Scanlan. “If we start debating on technical details, the bridge will never start functioning. There must be a legal decision first, and then technical experts will work on it,” Krasnoselsky said.

As Scanlan said, he had enough grounds to suppose that the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides wanted to see the result as early as this year.

As it was announced earlier at a meeting of Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip with representatives of the mediators in the negotiation process, the issue of the bridge was close to be settled and this could become a pre-condition for convoking a meeting of the 5+2 group (Transnistria and Moldova as the conflicting parties, Russia, Ukraine, OSCE as mediators, the USA and EU as monitors) by the end of November.

The Russian foreign ministry also supported soonest renewal of the dialog. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin stressed that hesitation in calling the meeting exacerbates the situation in the region. Meanwhile, the foreign ministry stated that it was OSCE mission’s fault that the dialog was stagnating.

The bridge between the villages of Gura Bîcului and Bacioc was exploded during the military actions in 1992. In early 2000s, the bridges was restored, but it was not functioning because of disagreements between Chisinau and Tiraspol.

The bridge is part of the international M14 highway that belongs to the 9th pan-European transport corridor (Brest – Chisinau - Odessa). For many years, renewal of its functioning was on the agenda of relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol.

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