Send to friend | Print

Open letter:For a European settlement of the Transnistrian conflict

Recently, in the diplomatic circles and expert community, in the international and local mass media, there has been an intensification of discussions on the possibility of achieving a bilateral agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation regarding the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. Given the non-transparent climate in which Moldovan-Russian negotiations are taking place, and the avoidance of the 5+2 negotiating format, this situation has already undermined internationally the credibility of the Republic of Moldova. The signing of an eventual agreement between Russia and Moldova, and the possibility of presenting the West with a fait accompli would seriously undermine Moldova’s European perspectives.

In addition, we are deeply worried about the recent statements of the Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin that place on equal footing the European integration of Moldova and the integration into the CIS, envisaging thus a confusing policy in both directions, while also mentioning the eventual adoption of a Chinese model of ruling the state.

Under these circumstances, we see ourselves compelled to remind that all discussions, consultations and negotiations should be conducted in the framework of the Declaration on the Political Partnership to Achieve the Objective of European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, voted unanimously by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on March 25, 2005. This Declaration states that “further development can only be assured through the consistent and irreversible promotion of the strategic objective of European Integration; that the political solution of the Transnistrian problem shall be realized on the basis of the Constitution and international law  in close cooperation with the OSCE, European Union, Romania, Russia, USA and Ukraine; and that the withdrawal of the weaponry and troops of the Russian Federation represent a condition sine qua non for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.”

Considerable progress has been achieved in the last three years, as a result of the internal political consensus on this matter, and the development of relations between Moldova and EU. In July 2005, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has voted a set of laws establishing the conditions for a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. Starting with 2005, the EU and US became parts to the negotiation in the 5+2 format. The EU signed an Action Plan with the Republic of Moldova, launched the EU Border Assistance Mission to Ukraine and Moldova, opened a Delegation in Chisinau, signed an agreement on visa facilitation, opened a first ever common European visa application centre, increased substantially the amount of assistance offered to Moldova during 2007-2009 and became the main international donor at the Donors Conference in Brussels in December 2006 which pledged USD 1.2 billion in assistance for Moldova. At the same time, the United States of America offered to Moldova the possibility to benefit from financing within the framework of the Millennium Challenge Account.

These positive developments are endangered. The non-transparent dialogue of the Moldovan authorities with their Russian counterparts undermine these developments, raises doubts about the international credibility and European perspectives of the Republic of Moldova, as well as the chances of a viable solution of the Transnistrian conflict.

Having stated the above, we request the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, including President Vladimir Voronin, to first of all inform the citizens, the representatives of the civil society, as well as its Western partners on the dialogue with the Russian Federation regarding the Transnistrian conflict, and the future of Russian military forces in Moldova.

We also call on the presidency, the government and the political parties in the Parliament to undertake the following actions:

• To bring back the negotiations on Transnistrian conflict settlement to the 5+2 format and ensure the maximum transparency of the negotiation process within the dialogue with the civil society and the foreign partners of Moldova;

• To reaffirm their adherence to the provisions of the 22 July 2005 law regarding the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict;

• To restate internationally Moldova’s position on the immediate, organised and unconditional withdrawal of the Russian troops stationed illegally in the Republic of Moldova;

• Within the framework of discussions on the future of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, to reiterate Moldova’s request to the international community on the replacement of the Russian peace-keeping operation in Moldova with a multinational operation of military and civilian observers under the aegis of the European Union. 

We share the desire to reintegrate Moldova. And we believe that the country’s democratisation, modernisation and consolidation of its European future through a rigorous implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan will create the conditions for a viable solution of the Transnistrian conflict.


1. Arcadie Barbarosie, Institute for Public Policy2. Igor Botan, Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT3. Iulian Fruntasu, European Initiatives Program, Soros-Moldova Foundation 4. Mihai Gribincea, PhD in History, former Moldovan diplomat  5. Iurie Leanca, Ambassador, former First deputy minister of foreign affairs6. Ştefan Gorda, Former National Coordinator for GUAM, MAE   7. Ion Manole, Promo-Lex Association8. Petru Macovei, Association of Independent Press9. Igor Munteanu, IDIS “Viitorul” 10. Oazu Nantoi, Confidence Building Association  11. Nicu Popescu, European Council on Foreign Relations, London12. Andrei Popov, Foreign Policy Association 13. Valeriu Prohnitchi, “Expert-Group” Analytic Center14. Eugen Revenco, Foreign Policy Association15. Vlad Spanu, Moldova Foundation, Washington 16. Vasile Spinei, Centrer “Acces Info”17. Anatol Ţăranu, Member of Parliament, Republic of Moldova18. Liliana Vitu, Master in European Modern Studies


Comments (0)