24 Jul 2019 21:08

Bratislava to host first 5+2 talks on Transdniestria this year in October

CHISINAU. July 24 (Interfax) - The first round of Transdniestria settlement talks in the 5+2 format this year, which would involve Moldova and Transdniestria as the parties to the talks, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE as mediators, and the European Union and the United States as observers, should be held in Bratislava on October 7-8, the Moldovan government's Bureau for Reintegration said.

Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Vasilii Sova and Transdniestrian Foreign Minister Vitalie Ignatiev, Chisinau's and Tiraspol's chief negotiators, had a meeting in the 1+1 format in the Moldovan capital on Wednesday.

"The participants in the meeting in the 1+1 format agreed with a proposal by the OSCE Mission on convening the next negotiating round in the 5+2 format in Bratislava on October 7-8. The meeting participants discussed a broad range of issues, including the promotion of confidence building measures, the implementation of the agreed-upon obligations within the framework of the so-called Berlin Plus package, and initiatives aimed at intensifying the dialogue and resolving the current issues," it said.

Sova called for taking steps to make progress in the telecommunications area and determine a viable mechanism of temporary customs clearance of oil products brought from Transdniestria by Moldovan bodies.

Sova and Ignatiev praised the implementation of the agreements reached earlier. At the same time, Chisinau called for "providing favorable conditions for organizing instruction using the Latin alphabet in the schools on the left bank of the Dniester River" and providing these schools with permanent buildings for the studying process.

"The participants agreed with a proposal on implementing a project supported by international partners to launch a trolleybus line between the community of Varnita and the city of Bender. The parties also agreed to issue a joint address to foreign donors to receive financing for the reconstruction of the Chisinau-Tiraspol-Kuchurhan road," it said.

This was the first meeting in the 1+1 format this year. The participants in the 3+2 format (Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE plus observers from the U.S. and the EU) had negotiations in Chisinau and Tiraspol in early July, at which they agreed that it was reasonable to resume the 5+2 talks, which have been suspended since November 2018 due to the parliamentary elections and political crisis in Moldova.

Sova, a former presidential advisor, was appointed new deputy prime minister and Chisinau's chief negotiator on Transdniestria in early June. He is aware of the problems involved in the Transdniestria settlement process and is well known in Transdniestria, as he had previously occupied this post during the Party of Communists' rule in 2001 to 2009.