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Reintegration

Chișinău to propose a “Vision” on the future “autonomous” status of Transnistria within Moldova

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The Government of Moldova apparently has a plan for political reintegration of the breakaway Transnistria. At least, this what Vladimir Soloviev writes at Kommersant.

According to Soloviev, four sources communicated him that Chișinău elaborated a clear white paper, a so-called “Vision”, on the future status of the separatist entity within the Republic. The 8 and a half pages plan contain stipulations regarding the Russian military presence in the region, the military peacekeeping mission, the autonomous status of Transnistria and its official languages.

The white paper was reportedly written by the head of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS “Viitorul”) and ex-Ambassador to the US, Igor Munteanu, and the Romanian political scientist Iulian Chifu, who has worked as national security adviser to Romania ex-President Băsescu. At the same time, the text of the paper was edited by the Vice-Premier for Reintegration, George Balan, and Foreign Ministry’s representative in special cases, Ion Stavila. The paper was ready at the end of summer 2017 and might even be presented before the next Ministerial Council of the OSCE, taking place during December 7-8 in Vienna.

The document reportedly begins with the acknowledgment of the necessity to withdraw the Russian military troops (probably the Operative Group of Russian Troops) from the territory of Moldova. The withdrawal is seen as natural by Chișinău because Russia committed to finalizing it before 2003 at the 1999 OSCE Istambul Summit.

In addition, the paper underlines the importance of transforming the current trilateral (Moldova-Russia-Transnistria) peacekeeping mission into a multi-national civil one.

A completely new approach to reintegrating Transnistria regards the provisions on the official languages to be established in Transnistria. Besides the Russian and Ukrainian official languages, Chișinău would like to replace the “Moldovan language” (Cyrillic script) with the Romanian language. This aspect might raise questions not only in Transnistria but also on the right bank. The Socialist and Communist MPs in Chișinpu are currently blocking a ruling of Constitutional Court to make Romanian an official language- as it is in Moldova’s declaration of independence.

More important, the “Vision” paper offers an autonomous status to Transnistria, a status similar to that of Gagauzia established in 1994 by an organic law. Specifically, Transnistria would keep its constitution, leader of the region, parliament, and government, but would not be able to pass laws, just normative acts.

The interlocutors of the Kommersant reporter, however, believe Chișinău will not offer everything in the first place, but would rather start from “timid positions”.

This “Vision” is said to be the first real written plan of the constitutional authorities of Moldova on Transnistria’s future status. In 2003, a Russia-backed plan often called Kozak Memorandum was rejected in the last moments by the Moldovan then-President Vladimir Voronin, who encountered the large opposition of the majority of the population to a plan federalizing the Republic and giving equal rights to Transnistria in foreign policymaking.

President Igor Dodon was first to react to the reports about the “Vision”, claiming it does not correspond to the approaches to solving the Transnistrian political conflict:

“We elaborated our vision, whose basis was: the preservation, consolidation and international recognition of the permanent status of neutrality of Moldova, the right to self-determination in case of Moldova losing its statehood”, declared Dodon for RIA Novosti. President’s plan might emerge from that of his Socialists’ Party, who wanted a federalized Moldova to include Gagauzia and Transnistria on an equal basis.

The recent 5+2 talks in Vienna apparently did not include negotiations on the political status of the Transnistrian region within the Republic of Moldova.

The recent IRI poll results indicate that the majority, 70%, of Moldovans see Transnistria as an ordinary part of Moldova without having any autonomous status:

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

Reintegration

Tudor Ulianovschi: Moldova pleads consistently for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory

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The statement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Tudor Ulianovschi, at the OSCE’s annual ministerial meeting, which took place today in Milan, Italy.

The Republic of Moldova consistently pleads for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory and for the transformation of the current peacekeeping operation into a civilian mission with an international mandate.

According to a communiqué from the Chisinau Diplomacy, Minister Ulianovschi mentioned that these and other measures to build trust and support the population effectively contribute to the proximity between the two banks of the Dniester and to create a favorable atmosphere for the final settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

In this context, Tudor Ulianovschi invoked the UN General Assembly resolution “On the complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”, drawing in particular attention to the serious humanitarian and ecological hazards of the stocks of the Cobasna ammunition.

The head of the Moldovan diplomacy thanked the 57 participating states for their support in the adoption of the declaration on the “5 + 2” negotiation process in order

“to help identify a peaceful, comprehensive and durable for this conflict, based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders, with a special status for Transnistria.”

In a wider context, Tudor Ulianovschi advocated stepping up efforts to regulate conflicts in the GUAM area, underlining the importance of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states within their internationally recognized borders.

“The recent Russian-Ukrainian naval incident in the Kerch Strait demonstrates once more how fragile peace and security are in this geographical area in which my country is located,” contended Tudor Ulianovschi.

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Opinion

Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs: There were many delusions that the conflict between Moldova and Transnistria is very easy to resolve

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The head of the Transnistrian diplomatic mission told about what is slowing down the negotiation process.

The First Transnistrian TV channel took an interview from the Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vitaly Ignatiev, who claims that the Transnistrian side is trying to focus on concrete matters, on a specific agenda within the conflict negotiation process.

Ignatiev drew attention to the fact that the position of President Vadim Krasnoselsky, who previously declared that it makes no sense to meet with Moldovan counterparts without a specific agenda, is connected with this.

According to him, over the years of the negotiation formats on the Moldovan-Transnistrian settlement, various visions, plans or approaches that took place, there were many delusions that the conflict was very easy to resolve.

However, the Transnistrian diplomat refuses to recognize Transnistria as part of Moldova.

“We have absolutely legitimate international legal, historical grounds for recognizing the independence of Transnistria. We have a generation of Transnistrians who have not lived a single day in the Soviet Moldova. Any settlement should be based on the will of the people. We rely on the will of the population, which has already determined its fate within referendums,” the minister added.

He stated that Transnistria lives in accordance with its Constitution, and Moldova, in turn, lives within its legislative space.

“There is not a single signal about the eagerness of the Moldovan authorities to deal with these issues seriously, although there are a lot of statements about the issue. Sometimes these statements create an unnecessary background and interfere with the dialogue,” the diplomat concluded.

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Reintegration

Transnistrian president Krasnoselsky: Discussing issues with the Moldovan president is impractical at the moment.

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Recently, the president of Moldova, Igor Dodon has made an announcement that, in December, there is a scheduled meeting with the President of Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselsky.

The event will take place in Bender, writes the Transnistrian news portal novostiprm.com.

However, the according to the separatist press, Krasnoselsky made it clear that there will be no meeting “just for the sake of meeting”, affirming that there are enough unresolved issues and problems on the negotiation agenda.

“A clear agenda is necessary, and I don’t see it the moment. Those 5 + 2 questions format do not correspond to his competences. Furthermore, in principle, discussing these issues with Igor Dodon is impractical. The president of Moldova should have his own agenda,” declared the president of Transnistria.

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