Sergey Gubarev: “We expect leaders of Moldova to ultimately occupy a realistic position on settlement in Pridnestrovie”


Ambassador-at- Large Sergey Gubarev’s reply to a question from TASS on negotiations on the Pridnestrovie settlement

Question: A pause in the work of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues within the Negotiation Process Towards a Pridnestrovian Settlement, also known as the 5+2 format, has lasted for over a year. Can you comment on this? What do you think about the prospects of the resumption of the official negotiations?

Reply: Indeed, the pause in the 5+2 negotiations, with Moldova and Pridnestrovie as the sides of the conflict, Russia and Ukraine as guarantors and mediators, the OSCE as a mediator and the EU and the US as observers, has dragged out beyond any reason. Only two meetings out of the five or six agreed upon at the negotiating table took place during the last year, and not a single official meeting was held during the first nine months of this year. Obviously, this is due to the deficiency of positive attitudes in the relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol. Regrettably, the resumed contacts of the political representatives of the sides are like a conversation between two deaf people. No decisions are made on issues that are vital for the further development of relations between the two banks of the Dniester River.

Naturally, international mediators should play a role in redressing this situation. But it should not be forgotten that the 5+2 format exists, which has justified itself and which was established with the express purpose of allowing the sides to explain their view of the situation and air grievances to each other in the presence of mediators and observers. Shuttle diplomacy is a good thing, of course, and we are actively working with the sides, but regular work of the permanent conference creates unique opportunities for resolving outstanding issues.

The pause in the negotiating process should not be drawn out; all of us had to work very hard for its resumption in 2011 after a six year break. Although turbulent events are taking place on Moldova’s domestic political scene, we expect its leaders to ultimately occupy a realistic position on settlement in Pridnestrovie and revoke their decisions that have not been well thought-out: “criminal cases” against Pridnestrovien officials, measures on the economic blockade of the region and the like. The sides should create trust to each other by practical steps.

Therefore, in our contacts with representatives of Moldova and Pridnestrovie we are urging the sides to return to the official format of the permanent conference as soon as possible. I hope that our appeal will be heeded.