Transnistria: Reaching a political settlement
BSSB.BE rhodesmrc.org 24.11.2016
The Frozen Conflict in Transnistria
This territorial dispute has its roots in geopolitical, economic and environmental motives. Transnistria is not being recognized by Moldova and the international community as an independent state, but only as a part of Moldova, since it declared unilaterally independence in 1991.
The term “frozen conflict” derives from the fact that a ceasefire agreement was made in 1992 but a definite settlement has not still been reached. Tensions and hostilities can always arise, which can pose a significant threat to the stability and security of the region. Although many efforts have been made to reach a final settlement, the lack of common ground with the participating sides, has led to a dead end.
The barriers posed to a final settlement, are related to the issue of distributing powers between Tiraspol and Chisinau, the political instability within the state of Moldova and the presence of the Russian troops in Transnistria. The Sides cannot agree to a solution that would arrange all those issues at once and unanimously, despite of the help of OSCE, the European Union and the International Community.
Formation and evolution of Transnistria
The reasons presented by Transnistria that initiated its effort for independence, were mostly ethnical, alongside the fear of discrimination towards the Russian and Ukrainian populations. It was
evident that the main problem of Moldova was the lack of cohesion that the various ethnic
backgrounds were causing. This made it difficult for the country to form a strong and stable national identity that would ensure the peaceful coexistence of its inhabitants.
However, the true motives of its independence can be routed to the greatest fear of a re-unification of Moldova with Romania. That move could be easily been foreseen since many steps had been made that were supposed to prepare the ground for such an occasion.
Fields of Action
Conflict Prevention and Resolution: To reach a final, comprehensive and durable settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, the OSCE has formed a negotiation process17 under the term “5+2”.
The participating parts are OSCE, Russia, Ukraine, while the EU and the US act as observers. The
purpose of this Mission is to build lasting confidence between the two conflicting sides, those of the
Arms Control: The above mentioned Mission is an observer in the Joint Control Commission(JCC)
which supervises the Joint Peacekeeping Forces. The last one consists of the delegations of the
Russian Federation, Moldova and Transdniestria, while Ukraine is an observer. Within the Mission’s duties is to ensure that former Soviet ammunition and armaments will be removed from the territory of Moldova and destroyed.
Rule of Law: One of the OSCE’s main goals is to reform Moldova’s judiciary so that it can comply
with the international standards.
The “5+2” talks
In these negotiations, the main key actors are Moldova and Transnistria, while the OSCE, Ukraine
and Russia act as co-mediators and European Union and the United States as observers. While
external pressure is increasing, during the middle of 2010, 5 meetings of the 5+2 parties took place
which were led to a consensus on the previously made agreements and drew attention on finding
guarantees to them.
However, no common agreement has yet been achieved, since the Sides cannot find a solution that will equally satisfy their needs and profits. The agreement reached on April 2012 concerning the Principles and Procedures and an Agenda of the negotiation process foresees the equal status that both Sides in the negotiations shall have.
Ways to Resolve the Frozen Conflict in Transnistria
As Neil Brennan, the Deputy head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova described at his speech53 during
the seminar “Frozen” conflicts in Europe – the approach of a democratic security: the case of
Transnistria, the solution shall be focused on 5 different dynamics of the issue. Those would be
- Immediacy, under the scope that a solution must be found as soon as possible.
- Acceptable, a solution that will have the approval of all sides of the dispute.
- Harmonized, with international law, principles of democracy and OSCE’s provisions.
- Sustainable, since it shall set the base for a sustainable Moldovan state, in a structural – with a
federal constitution- and economic level.
- Supported, it shall have the declared signs of support from the international community for
Moldovan reunification and reintegration, for example via financial and human assistance.
Since the quasi – state is only recognized by South Ossetia and Abkhazia, building trust between
those regions could help built bridges of cooperation and also disconnect from being Russiandependent.
This thought is based on previous EU’s efforts under the term “Engagement without
Recognition” in an attempt to form political, economic and cultural relations with the aforementioned regions.
Again in a European basis, a consideration of the EU Copenhagen criteria and a cooperation with the Council of Europe would prove helpful, with the use and interpretation of the
Convention on National Minorities and the Charter on Regional and Minority Languages, which
would help facilitate the inter-ethnic differences.
On the basis of the OSCE’s commitments, any solution founds shall be based on the principles of
democracy, of respect towards human rights, respect to elections, protection of minorities and the
freedom of media and the combat of propaganda. What needs to be secured by a stable and rich
legal framework is the relation between the state and the citizens of Moldova.
A settlement via the demilitarization of the area of Transnistria will create the ground for its democratization and decriminalization. The strengthening of the relations of Moldova and Transnistria with the European
It is essential that a special status quo of Transnistria be maintained in order to keep in balance the
regional security dynamic. The solution of economic sanctions that can further lead to total economic isolation in the future must be avoided, since its location plays a key role to the relations
among the neighboring states.
With the already expressed proposals, the system56 that could most
effectively work is a multiple asymmetric federally agreement, reached via the negotiations from the 5+2 talks. Apart from a multilateral international treaty that would clarify the responsibilities,
authorities and rights of the region, a domestic legislation should also be adopted alongside a constitution.
Conflicts Eurosceptocism Geopolitics Economy Nations EU Parties Persons Youtube
*Youtube – Ray Mcgovern “The Neo-Cons Are Still Around & Are Pushing Us To The Brink Of Conflicts.
*YOUTUBE – The man who walked across the World Part 1. Series of documentary travelogues in which Tim Mackintosh Smith follows in the footsteps of 14th Century Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah, who covered 75,000 miles, 40 countries and three continents in a 30-year odyssey. Beginning in north Africa, Tim visits Battutah’s birthplace of Tangier in Morocco, and stumbles on a performance of medieval trance music. In Egypt, he goes to a remote village where Battutah had an astonishing prophetic dream and visits the world’s oldest university in Cairo.
*YOUTUBE – Capturing the Friedmans (2003) . Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS was the most riveting, provocative, and hotly debated film of the year. Despite their predilection for hamming it up in front of home-movie cameras, the Friedmans were a normal middle-class family living in the affluent New York suburb of Great Neck. One Thanksgiving, as the family gathers at home for a quiet holiday dinner, their front door explodes, splintered by a police battering ram