Vienna, Austria, hosts another round of “5+2” negotiations between Moldova and Transnistria under the auspices of OSCE. Both sides agreed on conducting talks as equals which can be considered a small yet positive breakthrough.
The breakthrough could be a signal that the atmosphere between Chisinau and Tiraspol is improving. Yet this decision might also become a trap for Moldova, who has been opposing treating Transnistria as an equal partner during negotiations for a long time. Chisinau is concerned whether it could lead to far-fetched conclusions regarding the status of the, thus far, unrecognized republic. For Tiraspol, however, it is sine qua non for continuation of talks. The agreement allowed to sign the document specifying common procedures the further negotiations will be based on. As Nina Shtanski, head of Transnistrian diplomatic service, said, commenting on Moldova’s decision: “…this is basic negotiation principle”.
Vladimir Socor from US Jamestown Foundation states that Chisinau’s decision is a step towards federalization of Moldova. In his opinion, Chisinau was highly pressured by some diplomats from EU countries, including Ireland, who heads OSCE at present. Nevertheless, Chisinau keeps emphasising that the equality rule in regard to negotiations has no legal consequences and does no threat to the integrity of Moldovan territories. “The issue here are equal rights, not a legal status”, explains Eugen Caprov, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Moldova’s territorial re-integration.
Translated by KD