Ukraine seeking to intensify 5+2 talks on Transdniestria
Ukraine's Special Envoy for the Transdniestria settlement process Viktor Kryzhanivsky has called for intensifying the 5+2 negotiating process on Transdniestria (Moldova, Transdniestria, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE plus observers from the United States and the European Union).
Kryzhanivsky made this statement at negotiations he attended in Tiraspol and Chisinau on Thursday and Friday, the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, told Interfax.
Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Lilian Darii reaffirmed at the meeting with Kryzhanivsky that "the Moldovan authorities remain open to determining a viable solution to the Transdniestria problem, provided that Moldova's sovereignty and territorial integrity is observed and special status is granted to the Transdniestrian region," the ministry said.
Darii also reaffirmed that Moldova insisted on removing Russian troops and weapons from the left bank of the Dniester River.
"The observance by Russia of its international obligations on withdrawing its troops from Transdniestria would promote the conflict's settlement process," he said.
Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration and Chief Negotiator Gheorghe Balan identified the principal issues on the agenda of the negotiations. In particular, he mentioned the need to ensure proper conditions for the normal functioning of schools providing instruction in the Latin alphabet in Transdniestria, unimpeded access of Moldovan farmers to their lands beyond the Tiraspol-Ribnita motor road, the removal of artificial obstacles to the free flow of people and cargo between the two banks of the Dniester River, and the opening of the bridge across the Dniester between the villages of Bacioc and Gura Bicului.
"These problems need to be resolved in a priority manner, which would have a favorable effect on improving the people's confidence on both banks of the river," Balan said.
Kryzhanivsky reaffirmed Ukraine's commitment to the intensification of the negotiating process on all of the existing forums to resolve the problems of Moldovan citizens, including in the Transdniestrian region, as soon as possible.
While in Tiraspol, Kryzhanivsky was received by Transdniestrian leader Vadim Krasnoselski, who said the unrecognized republic was ready to open traffic through the bridge across the Dniester River near the villages of Bacioc and Gura Bicului, provided that it is not used for military purposes.
Kryzhanivsky briefed Krasnoselski on his recent visit to Vienna, his plans to visit Brussels, and his meetings in Chisinau and Tiraspol to discuss "a number of aspects of preparations for a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council."
"As far as I understood from our conversation with Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Wolf Dietrich Heim, the Austrian chairmanship is interested in achieving a certain result in the negotiating process by the end of the year. They are analyzing on what aspects progress is possible. The adoption of particular documents would demonstrate that a settlement process is moving ahead, albeit slowly," he said.