Tuesday, May 21

Comment by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, M.V.Zakharova, in connection with the 30th anniversary of the start of negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement

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April 28 marks the 30th anniversary of the negotiation process on the Transnistrian settlement. On this day in 1994, the President of the Republic of Moldova and the leader of Transnistria signed, in the presence of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of Russia and the head of the CSCE Mission in Chisinau, the “Statement of the Leaders of Moldova and Transnistria”, which launched negotiations.

Since the outbreak of the conflict on the Dniester, the Russian Federation has taken an active position in search of ways to resolve it. It was thanks to Russia’s efforts that the armed phase of the confrontation was stopped and a peacekeeping operation was launched, which to this day ensures peace and tranquility on the Dniester and creates a solid basis for negotiations.

Initially, the negotiation process was conducted both in order to ensure the non-resumption of hostilities, and in the direction of developing the foundations of relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol. During the negotiations, with the active participation of Russia, an approach to the problems of settlement between Moldova and Transnistria was developed, a number of documents were signed, recognized not only by the parties, but also by the international community.

A new situation arose with the formation in 2002-2005. The “Permanent Meeting on Political Issues within the framework of the Transnistrian settlement negotiation process”, known today as the “5+2” format (Moldova and Transnistria are the parties, Russia and Ukraine are the mediators and guarantors, the OSCE is the mediator, the EU and the USA are observers).

Russia also made its own efforts to resolve the Transnistrian conflict, which resulted in the preparation in 2003 of a “Memorandum on the basic principles of the state structure of the united State”, known as the “Kozak Memorandum”. Its signing was disrupted due to political pressure on Chisinau from Washington and Brussels.

Over the past years, the Transnistrian settlement process has gone through different periods. Today, due to the continuing fundamental differences in the approaches of the parties to the settlement of differences, it is once again in deep crisis. Since 2019, official meetings of the 5+2 negotiation format have not been held under artificial pretexts. The implementation of “small steps” in the interaction between the banks of the Dniester is stalling. There is a return to the proven ineffectiveness of the practice of economic and other pressure. Previously reached agreements are being violated.

The current impasse in the Transnistrian settlement is explained by Chisinau’s persistent unwillingness to respond positively to Tiraspol’s repeated calls to start negotiations on the principles of a comprehensive settlement on the Dniester. It is obvious that without a revision by the Moldovan side of such a line, it is not necessary to expect progress in the Transnistrian settlement process.

Russia’s position remains unchanged. As a guarantor and mediator in the Transnistrian settlement process, we see our task at the current stage, first of all, in maintaining peace and stability on the Dniester. We are in favor of normalizing the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol and respecting the previously reached agreements.

We remain supporters of the tactics of “small steps” in cooperation between the parties in order to restore mutual trust and achieve a viable compromise.

We consider the arguments of some political scientists that in the future the negotiation process can supposedly do without Russia’s participation to be counterproductive and not in line with reality.




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