The leader of the unrecognized Trans-Dniester republic, Yevgeny Shevchuk, has accused Moldova of violating the reached agreements and delaying the negotiating process on the conflict settlement, reported TASS News Agency.
“Over the past 1.5 years our partners from Chisinau have taken a number of unilateral actions that worsen the socio-economic situation in the Trans-Dniester region”, the unrecognized republic’s head said at a meeting with voters on Wednesday.
According to him, the Moldovan side has opened more than 200 criminal cases against government officials, law enforcement officers and judges of the Trans-Dniester region. “Moreover, the Moldovan authorities violate the freedom of movement rights of our citizens. All this runs counter to the agreements that were signed in 2012-2013,” Shevchuk said.
According to him, this was the reason for the stagnation of the negotiations, which are conducted with mediation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia and Ukraine, as well as with the participation of observers from the European Union and the United States (the 5+2 format).
At these meetings Chisinau insists that it is necessary to proceed to the discussion of a comprehensive settlement of the Trans-Dniester conflict, but Tiraspol believes that first it is necessary to concentrate on solving the current problems faced by the residents of both banks of the Dniester River.
“We believe it is important to solve the current problems of citizens’ life, so we have proposed the tactics of ‘small steps’ in the socio-economic sphere”, Shevchuk said. He added that this would help build confidence between the Trans-Dniester republic and Moldova.
Last week, mediators and observers visited Chisinau and Tiraspol to discuss the possibility of resuming the negotiations in an enlarged format. Following the consultations, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador at Large Sergei Gubarev suggested that the return to the negotiating table would be possible by the end of the year. He also said that “neither side complies with the agreements reached at the past meetings.”
The escalation of tensions in the Trans-Dniester region of Moldova began in 1989, when many towns and regions there held referendums on the creation of a separate Trans-Dniester Moldovan Republic. In March 1992, the conflict escalated into armed clashes between the parties. The joint peacekeeping forces, comprising 402 Russian peacekeepers, 492 Trans-Dniester troopers, 355 Moldovan servicemen and 10 military observers from Ukraine, have been maintaining peace in the Trans-Dniester region since 1992.
Negotiations in the “5 + 2” format (Moldova, Trans-Dniester republic, the OSCE, Russia, Ukraine and observers from the United States and the European Union) were interrupted in February 2006 after the Moldovan delegation had left the talks having accused Trans-Dniester of inability to be flexible.