Moldovan, Transdniestrian leaders may meet soon in Bavaria, says Ukraine's ambassador
A meeting between Prime Minister of Moldova Iurie Leanca and Transdniestrian leader Yevgeny Shevchuk may be held soon, Ukrainian Ambassador to Moldova Serhiy Pyrozhkov has said.
"They have given their consent in principle," he said at a press conference on Friday.
"The main problem is the agenda: what issues should be addressed during the meeting. Tiraspol insists on signing a protocol on the free movement of goods and people. This would mean that a bridge near the village of Gura Bicului in Anenii Noi district would reopen and traffic through the Odesa-Brest transport corridor would resume," Pyrozhkov said.
Another pressing issue of the agenda is the extension of the protocol on rail transportation between Moldova and Transdniestria, which expires on September 26, he said.
"Ukraine hopes that the meeting may be held in Bavaria, where the German government is organizing an international conference on the Transdniestrian settlement at the end of September," he said.
The ambassador said he believes that Ukraine, as chairman-in-office of the OSCE, has played a positive role in encourage dialog between Chisinau and Tiraspol.
"Over six months, three rounds of talks of political representatives of the parties were held. Our main goal is to continue the dialogue. Unfortunately, the solution of the conflict is seen differently by the mediators, the guarantors, and the parties to the conflict. Tiraspol is not ready to talk about the political status. But there are other problems that require attention and resolution, for example the situation in the security zone on the Dniester River," the diplomat said.
Pyrozhkov also said that Kyiv and Chisinau are working to speed up the procedure of crossing the border between the two countries, where many kilometers long of queues of cars are formed in summer.
"The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine is ready to finance the construction of a joint border crossing point Mayaky-Palanca. A statement of work for the project has been submitted to European partners," the ambassador said.
Pyrozhkov expects that by the end of the year they may resolve one of the most long-standing problems in the relations between Kyiv and Chisinau - the demarcation of the border.
"It remains to set up frontier posts on the remaining 70 km section of the border. Hopefully by the end of this operational season, we will complete all the work, and an agreement on the regime of the state border between Ukraine and Moldova will be signed. This document will put an end to the matter of the formalization of our common border," Pyrozhkov said.
He noted that the matter was delayed because for nearly ten years it had been impossible to conduct demarcation on the longest 450 km section of the border with Transdniestria.