CHISINAU, 11 May 2019 – Concluding his meetings today, the OSCE Special Representative for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process, Franco Frattini, urged the Sides to step up efforts to maintain the positive dynamic in the settlement process for the benefit of people on both banks of the Dniester/Nistru River. “Chisinau and Tiraspol were very successful in their step-by-step approach over the past two years. Today I have encouraged both Sides to continue this path in the spirit of dialogue and mutual co-operation regardless of internal political processes. The settlement process is an expectation of people on both banks of the Dniester/Nistru River and deserves all the resources to keep it on track at all levels,” said Frattini. During the first trip to the Republic of Moldova in 2019 as the Special Representative of the Slovak Chairmanship, Frattini met with the Co-ordinator of the Moldovan Governing Coalition Vlad Plahotniuc and chief negotiator Cristina Lesnic; the Transdniestrian leader Vadim Krasnoselsky and chief negotiator Vitaly Ignatiev. In his discussions, Frattini hailed the Sides for their leadership and dedication to achieving a significant breakthrough in the settlement process over the past years. In 2017 and 2018, the two Sides conducted over 100 expert working group meetings, where they found practical solutions for issues that had not been addressed in decades. These solutions have improved the day-to-day life of students, teachers, farmers and entrepreneurs on both banks of the Dniester/Nistru River, he said. “I have been reassured by the Sides that they will maintain the rigorous pace of negotiations and intensify their efforts at the level of expert working groups and chief negotiators to close the outstanding priorities from the ‘Berlin-plus package’ and beyond. It is important not to lose the momentum”, Frattini noted. “The settlement process is high on the agenda of the OSCE Slovak Chairmanship, which in co-operation with the OSCE Mission to Moldova will continue supporting the Sides in achieving a sustainable and peaceful settlement based on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova with a special status for Transdniestria,” he added. Since 2016, Chisinau and Tiraspol have signed agreements on six out of the eight priority issues included in the so-called “Berlin-plus package”. To date, the two Sides have reached major achievements on five of the signed agreements, including on apostilization of educational documents issued in Transdniestria, the functioning of the Latin-script schools, the use of farmlands in Dubasari district, the opening of the Gura Bicului – Bychok bridge and on the mechanism for the participation of vehicles from Transdniestria in international road traffic.
(Photo Credits OSCE)