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Date: Apr 24, 2018 (21:36)

Transdniestrian Settlement Process moves forward as another milestone agreement signed by the Sides

An agreement on the mechanism for the participation of vehicles from Transdniestria in international road traffic was signed by the Chief Negotiators from Chisinau and Tiraspol today.

The agreement is the result of the dedicated work and an intense series of working group meetings over the past few months with the active participation of the Chief Negotiators. Its implementation will bring benefits to the lives of people on both banks of the Dniester/Nistru River and advance the Transdniestrian Settlement Process within the parameters of the agreed end state endorsed by all 57 OSCE participating States.

Welcoming the signing of the agreement, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova Ambassador Michael Scanlan commended the leadership and collaboration demonstrated by the Sides. “It is the constructive negotiation approach between the Sides and the personal engagement of the Moldovan and Transdniestrian leadership, which made this success possible. It is a success story for both Chisinau and Tiraspol,” he said. “When the joint implementation of the new mechanism begins this September, the trust between the Sides will deepen even further.”

The so-called “licence plate agreement” together with two other outstanding commitments from the “5+2” Vienna Protocol and the five agreements signed between the Sides in November 2017 in Chisinau and Bender form the “package of eight”, the priorities identified by the Sides in the spring of 2017.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Sides have implemented three out of five agreements signed in November 2017. These relate to the opening between the Sides of the Gura Bicului-Bychok bridge, initiating the apostilization of Transdniestrian university diplomas by Moldova and ensuring the functioning of the Moldova-administered Latin-script schools in Transdniestria. The signed agreements on restoring Moldova’s farmers’ access to their land in the Dubasari district as well as reintegrating the telecommunication markets are in the process of being implemented.

The unprecedented progress in the settlement process is due to the political will by the Sides to adopt the output-based approach to the negotiations process called for by the 57 participating States in OSCE Ministerial Council Statements in 2016 and 2017. In that vein, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process Franco Frattini urged the Sides during his visit in March to meet their “5+2” Vienna Protocol commitments, a message reinforced in the Head of Mission’s shuttle diplomacy. As output has now been achieved, Special Representative Frattini will convene a “5+2” meeting at the end of May in Rome.

Talks in the “5+2” format include the representatives of the Sides, mediators and observers – Moldova, Transdniestria, the OSCE, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union. The goal of the “5+2” format is to work out the parameters of the comprehensive settlement based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders, with a special status for Transdniestria in Moldova.