UARU
Moldova-Transnistria Negotiations, Explained
7 June, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ Moldova was in talks with its breakaway region of Transnistria after a two-year hiatus. Both sides expressed that the negotiations were positive;

✓ “Independence is probably the least possible scenario;”

✓ “Both sides are ready to speak about technical issues. Both sides not ready for political negotiations;”

While even Russia refuses to recognize Transnistrian independence, there are still some similarities in this conflict with the current conflict in the Donbas and with the manipulation of Russian speaking populations.

Moldova was in talks with its breakaway region of Transnistria in Berlin this week after a two-year hiatus. Hosted by the OSCE, negotiations took place in the 5+2 format; the main format for the Transnistria conflict resolution. According to Hanna Shelest, Editor-In-Chief Ukraina Analytica, both sides expressed that the negotiations were positive, albeit only protocol-signed. Formal negotiations will take place in July.

Transnistria, a region of 500,000 that borders both Moldova and Ukraine has been seeking recognition of their independence since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Shelest says that at this point, “independence is probably the least possible scenario.” Both sides have been living in these conditions for the last 25 years, and are not ready for a very quick compromise.

Until the end of the year, German, as chair of the OSCE will push both sides to reach some agreement about the four topics discussed at the negotiations.

“Both sides are ready to speak about technical issues. Both sides not ready for political negotiations.”

While even Russia refuses to recognize Transnistrian independence, there are still some similarities with this conflict and the current conflict in the Donbas and with the manipulation of Russian speaking populations: “25 years ago, we also saw a lot of fake news and information warfare and gossips.” The geographic borders however make it difficult for Russia to support Transnistria.

Russia’s permanent Military base in the region however, does make it possible to trigger a conflict on the ground, and instills a certain fear in the population: “the psychological circle in which people are trapped in for the last decades is much more difficult to stop compared to new conflict.”

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Hanna Shelest, Editor-In-Chief Ukraina Analytica, via Skype during The Sunday Show on June 5, 2016 in Kyiv.