There are preconditions for the official Transnistrian conflict settlement talks in the 5+2 format to be resumed in Moscow in June, executive director of the Foreign Policy Association (APE) Victor Chirila said Tuesday. According to him, the foreign partners of the official Chisinau should find levers to make Tiraspol return to the negotiating table and accept that the granting of a special legal status to the Transnistrian region within Moldova is the only possible outcome of the talks.
“Until Chisinau and Tiraspol do not agree on the finality of the negotiation process, no headway will be made. On the contrary, we will witness a repeat of the situation of the 1990s,” Victor Chirila said in the meeting of the APE’s press club.
The expert said there should be negotiated a political and juridical solution that will be based on several pillars – demilitarization, democratization, guarantees and reintegration of the Transnistrian region into Moldova. “The talks should be based on this set of principles. If they do not provide answers as to how the region will be demilitarized and democratized, there will be no guarantees that this will happen,” said Victor Chirila.
Another recommendation is to work out a medium and long-term strategy for settling the conflict and reintegrating the Transnistrian region, which would be aimed at creating conditions for gradually demilitarizing and democratizing the region and at guaranteeing a special legal status within Moldova.
Victor Chirila said that a number of shortcomings in the negotiation process can endanger the development of the talks if they are resumed. “The international players want to get the Transnistrian administration back to the negotiating table rather than to make Tiraspol to agree with the expected outcome of the talks. Another shortcoming is that Russia insists that the political solution should be negotiated only by Chisinau and Tiraspol as equal parties. Thus, Russia plays the role of dominant arbitrator in the talks and prevents the U.S. and the EU from taking the role of mediator that would be equivalent to Russian’s present role.
The expert stressed that a clear and well thought out strategy is needed for resolving the conflict and reintegrating the region. “It is not enough to say that Moldova’s Europeanization will facilitate the region’s reintegration with Moldova. Definite political measures are required,” said Victor Chirila. He also said that the only strategic document that the politicians should use in the negotiation process is the law on the special legal status of the Transnistrian region. “Russia’s view that this law imposes only conditions for opening the talks is not right as the law clearly stipulates that the negotiations should focus on the region’s demilitarization and democratization and its special legal status,” he said.
“I have hopes that the dialogue will be resumed as it should continue, but I doubt that it will be efficient and will produce results, judging by the circumstances.”
The official Transnistrian conflict settlement talks may take place in Moscow on June 21.