Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat on October 23 proposed fresh talks on a political settlement of the ongoing conflict to the authorities of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.
"There is a need to pass on to the discussion of political questions in the "third basket" at the next meeting in the five plus two format (Moldova, Transnistria, OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from United States and European Union) and, certainly, of matters related to demilitarization in the region," Filat told reporters in Chisinau, Itar-Tass reports.
At the same time, Filat acknowledged that Chisinau and Tiraspol are far from having reason to talk of success. Still, "some concrete steps have been made in this process vitally important to our country," he said.
Moldova and Transnistria (or the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic as it likes to be known) have been in talks for years since the region, a part of Moldova with a predominantly Russian population, proclaimed its independence in 1990. A military conflict followed in 1992, ending in the rebel region's de-facto independence, but it remains unrecognised by any UN member. A peacekeeping force comprising Russian, Moldovan and Transdniestria troops is currently deployed in the cash-strapped region along the Dniester River.
Talks between the two, with Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the US and the EU acting as intermediaries, were disrupted in February 2006 as Tiraspol continues to reject Chisinau's offer of autonomy as part of a single Moldovan state.
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