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Transdniestrian settlement talks conclude in Vienna with progress on freedom of movement

Transdniestrian settlement talks conclude in Vienna with progress on freedom of movement

Ambassador Radojko Bogojević, Special Representative of the Swiss OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian settlement process, welcomed today the removal of obstacles for the free movement of permanent residents of the Trandniestrian region possesing foreign passports, other than Moldovan.

The protocol decision on freedom of movement was signed during the first round of the 5+2 talks under the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship that concluded today in Vienna.

“I am encouraged by the constructive atmosphere and the practical outcome of our discussion on social problems as well as the signing of a protocol decision on freedom of movement initialled last year in Kyiv,” said Bogojević who chaired the two-day meeting.

Ambassador Jennifer Brush, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, said: “I call on the sides to continue to focus on freedom of movement, and work towards the opening the Gura-Bicului bridge. I welcome the efforts by all parties to ensure that the 2012-2013 agreements are implemented.”

One of the priorities of the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014 is improving people’s lives. “Finding solutions to day-to-day problems for people on both banks of the Dniester/Nistru River must be a key priority,” Bogojević said, welcoming progress in such areas as pensions and social assistance for people who changed their place of residence, and environmental issues.

Bogojević stressed the need to continue regular meetings between political representatives in a result-oriented process. “The dialogue in itself helps foster confidence and lower tensions. However, any political process should have an end goal, and we see unlocking discussions on the political status of Transdniestria as an interim goal that we will work to achieve.” Brush said education was a key issue among many pressing concerns. “I welcome the efforts by all parties involved to ensure good functioning of the Latin-script schools in Transdniestria.”

“The issue of education must be de-politicized,” Brush added. “Children must be able to study in the language of their choice.”

Other participants in the 5+2 talks included the Moldovan and Transdniestrian Chief Negotiators Eugen Carpov and Nina Shtanski, as well as representatives of the mediators and observers – the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the US and the EU.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Vienna on 10-11 April.


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