Transnistrian conflict: frozen problem

Ukrainian diplomats hope for a successful resumption of negotiations in the 5 + 2 format for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. Experts also predict stagnation or settlement under the Russian scenario.

The Institute for World Politics has published a study entitled “Scenarios for the Transnistrian conflict. Challenges to European security”. The interviewed experts from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, the EU countries and the USA tend to predict stagnation in solving the Transnistrian problem or its settlement according to the Moscow scenario.

According to the results of the study, the most likely way to develop the situation in the unrecognized Transnistrian Republic over the next five years is to either maintain the current situation or resolve the Transnistrian problem according to the Russian scenario of implementing the so-called “Kozak-2 plan”. This plan provides for the unification of Moldova on a confederative basis, with Transnistria’s right to self-determination in the event Moldova loses sovereignty and joins Romania. Experts surveyed by the authors of the study consider the Europeanization of Transdniestria to be much less likely. And the prospects of Transnistria’s membership in Russia or Ukraine, the establishment of an international protectorate over this territory, the restoration of the hot phase of the conflict and the recognition of the independence of Transnistria are quite unlikely.

5 + 2 =?

Political analyst of the Euro-Atalanta Institute of Cooperation Vladimir Gorbach, commenting on these assessments, rejected the possibility that Chisinau would agree to settle the Transnistrian problem according to the Moscow scenario. According to the expert, this plan means the expansion of Russia's military-political presence over the whole territory of Moldova and the geopolitical dictate of the Kremlin. Therefore, such a move "can overthrow any government of Moldova that goes to such a settlement." On the other hand, Gorbach considers the most likely to maintain the current state of the actual split of Moldova. Another opportunity to change the situation Gorbach called the possible loss of power the current president of the unrecognized republic, Igor Smirnov. This, according to the expert, may occur due to the strengthening of the processes of Transnistria’s transition from presidential to parliamentary government. Gorbach called fantastic rumors from diplomatic sources, recently the Ukrainian press is spreading about the readiness of concessions of the European Union in the Transnistrian issue from Moscow and the leaders of the rebellious republic.

In his opinion, an agreement between Germany, which “as the locomotive of the European Union is engaged in Moldova’s European integration” and Russia, could move the affairs of the settlement of the Transnistrian problem.

The resumption of negotiations as a chance

Earlier, the President of Transnistria, Igor Smirnov, during negotiations with the Foreign Minister in Kiev, confirmed his willingness to sit at the official negotiating table in the "5 + 2" format. According to this formula, Moldova and Transdniestria take in discussions as parties to the settlement, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE as mediators, and the EU and the USA as observers. Gorbach congratulated the fact of the resumption of the negotiations, but expressed doubt that they could lead to a diplomatic breakthrough: “Negotiations have not been held for a long time and Moldovans with Transdniestrians simply do not meet at the official political level. , as such, "- said Gorbach.

The Moscow version of the settlement of the Transnistrian problem is unlikely to be supported by the official Kiev, the former Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Chaly recently said. He also noted that the recognition of independence of such entities as the Transnistrian Republic or Abkhazia is contrary to the national interests of Ukraine.
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