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trian negotiator Vitalii Ignatiev complained that “because of the political situation in Moldova, negotiations on the Transnistrian conflict settlement were again frozen”. Franco Frattini declared his readiness to facilitate negotiations, cautiously assuming that the “5 + 2” round of negotiations could take place in July or in September. However, this will hardly happen. Becoming a special representative on the Transnistrian settlement during the Italian presidency, in 2018 Frattini firmly stated that the rounds of negotiations (previously held once every two months) would be held only if there were pre-agreed documents ensuring progress in the negotiation process. And the “Roman meeting” took place only when Chisinau and Tiraspol agreed on a decision on neutral numbers. During the current visit, Franco Frattini reaffirmed the previous position, stating that “the OSCE is counting on a constructive approach and an effective solution to the problems.” “We want to fulfill the agenda, to increase the achieved results. We do not want to hold meetings for the sake of meetings, but for good results for the benefit of all people from the two banks of the Dniester,” said the OSCE representative. The main obstacle to the resumption of negotiations is that Chisinau and Tiraspol do not have a joint agenda for this. Negotiators from the two banks of the Dniester are united only in that the agreements reached earlier must be implemented. And they are partially executed. Over the past year, 260 diplomas have been apostilled for admission to educational institutions in 23 countries; Moldovan farmers have access to approximately 90% of their land in Transnistria; issued about 3,000 neutral numbers for cars from Transnistria, replaced about 3,300 driver’s licenses. As for the further development of the situation, the views of Chisinau and Tiraspol differ significantly. Cristina Lesnic drew attention to the most important problems in Chisinau opinion: • the need to start discussing the issues of the third basket concerning security and status of the Transnistrian region. The forester reaffirmed the position expressed at the end of last year that “the discussion should go in three baskets at the same time,” as it had been said at the OSCE inter-ministerial summit in Milan, at the end of last year; • the need to ensure the security of warehouses with weapons and ammunition, and inspection of warehouses with Russian weapons and ammunition in the village of Colbasna on the left bank of the Dniester. According to her, “conducting effective inspection of warehouses could provide additional security guarantees”; • observance of human rights in Transnistria and ensuring access to the region for organizations engaged in the protection of human rights; • ensuring freedom of movement across the administrative border of Transnistria for both ordinary citizens and officials; • deciding on the abolition of the “vignette” - the fare for cars with Moldovan registration numbers through the territory of Transnistria, which has been recently introduced by Tiraspol. In turn, the Transnistrian administration, as before, categorically opposes the discussion of the “third basket” issues, insisting on the implementation of the Berlin Plus package and the resolution of other issues related to the “living conditions of citizens”. The leader of Transnistria, Vadim Crasnoselschii, outlined the following priorities of Tiraspol for negotiations with Chisinau: • termination by Chisinau of politically motivated criminal cases initiated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Moldova against citizens of Transnistria; • solving problems in the field of telecommunications restoration and telecommunications, freedom of delivery of postal correspondence;

“Representatives of Tiraspol categorically do not want to discuss any issues constructively. They say that the purpose of the negotiations in the “5 + 2” format is not to determine the status of the Transnistrian region, but only to “solve current problems”. Chisinau does this, and as the response the Transnistrian authorities impose a fare on its territory for Moldovan cars. Such an approach leads to the gradual recognition of the independence of Transnistria, which is unacceptable.” (Former representative of Moldova in the JCC, expert Ion Leahu). • solving the problem of banking cooperation so that the banks of Transnistria can directly make settlements with the countries of the European Union; • activation of the process of issuing neutral driver’s licenses to a resident of Transnistria; • full release by Moldova and Ukraine of imports of petroleum products in Transnistria through the Cuchurgan-export and Slobodca-export stations. The protocol decision on this matter was extended by Prime Minister Pavel Philip, but it expires on June 30, 2019.

The experts noted a complete discrepancy between the positions of Chisinau and Tiraspol. Despite Frattini’s appeals to “look ahead together, not backward,” representatives of the parties insist on their own. They favor the continuation of negotiations, but they are trying to impose their agenda on the negotiation process. Therefore, it may happen that this year even one round of negotiations in the 5 + 2 format will not take place. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, “to love is not to look at each other; to love is to look in one direction.” It is clear that love between Chisinau and Tiraspol is very far away. Their negotiators do not look in any direction, or at each other, but in completely different directions.

“We should not exaggerate, but we must resume negotiations. The decisions that have already been achieved are an undoubted step forward. Another thing is that now we are seeing - the stagnation in the negotiations. It is important not to regress. It is also important to negotiate transparently and from the standpoint of the state - the Republic of Moldova, and not proceeding from the interests of individual oligarchs from the two banks of the Dniester.” (Executive Director of Institute for Strategic Initiatives Vladislav Culminskii).

R&O 19 2019 ГОД

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