After the 5+2 meeting in Vienna organised by the OSCE, a Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson commented as follows today (28 November) regarding the progress made:
We welcome the fact that the official 5+2 talks on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict took place in Vienna yesterday and today, after a hiatus of over one year. The parties to the negotiations have thereby reaffirmed their commitment to the 5+2 format as the agreed route towards a lasting and fair solution to the conflict.
Practical progress can only be made if the parties meet in person for regular talks in various formats. We are glad that agreement has now been reached on various important issues, which will bring tangible benefit to the people on both sides of the Nistru/Dniester river. This success vindicates the “small steps” strategy adopted by the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 and successfully continued by the Austrian Chairmanship in 2017. We would like to explicitly congratulate Austria on this success.
We will continue to support the OSCE’s endeavours to find solutions to all unresolved issues while respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova and ensuring a special status for Transnistria.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to the de facto separation of Transnistria (an area east of the Nistru/Dniester river, whose population is comprised of roughly equal numbers of Moldovans, Russians and Ukrainians) from the Republic of Moldova. Its unilateral declaration of independence has not been recognised by any country in the world.
There have been negotiations aimed at resolving the Transnistrian conflict since 1993. The process brings together representatives from Moldova and Transnistria with the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine, who serve as mediators, and the EU and the US, who have observer status (the “5+2 format”). The chief negotiators also meet in a 1+1 format, as do specialists from the two sides to develop technical solutions to practical problems. The Berlin Protocol, which envisaged negotiations on telecommunications, the functioning of Latin Script Schools, access to agricultural land and mutual recognition of car registration plates and university diplomas, was signed during Germany’s Chairmanship of the OSCE.