OSCE Special Representative: Electoral year could prevent developments in Transnistrian settlement process

The developments in the Transnistrian settlement process in an electoral year could suffer as a broad consensus in society may not be reached. However, the sides should take small steps to facilitate the relations between the people from both sides of the Nistru, the OSCE Special Representative for the Transnistrian Settlement Process Thomas Mayr-Harting stated in a news conference held jointly with Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Alexandru Flenchea, IPN reports.

Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting said the mechanism that enables the owners of motor vehicles in the Transnistrian region to legally reregister the vehicles with neutral-design license plates for traveling wherever they want in the world is an action that facilitates the relations between the people from both sides of the river.

The ambassador believes the “5+2” format allows for a culture of dialogue and for interaction between the sides, which do not exist in other cases. It is a settlement process mediated by the OSCE whose goal is to have the dispute politically resolved. “It is a fact that among the five - three mediators and two observers – there is a basic agreement on the parameters of this solution, which is based on the sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders, with a special status for Transnistria,” stated the official.

In another development, Thomas Mayr-Harting said that he is aware of the case of Rjavitin and the Mission follows it and this case will be discussed in Tiraspol.

Answering journalists’ questions, Alexandru Flenchea said that only 3% of the estimated number of motor vehicles existing in the Transnistrian region were reregistered with neutral-design license plates. The goal of the trial regime applied during January 10-20 was to see how the demand for neutral-design license plates on the left side of the Nistru will be affected and to assess the capacity of registration offices. According to the first reports, the number of applications increased.

“The most important thing is to inform the region’s inhabitants of the existing opportunities so as to enable them to travel freely outside the borders of the Republic of Moldova,” stated the Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration.

Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, OSCE Special Representative for the Transnistrian Settlement Process, is visiting Moldova from 21 to 23 January. On January 23, he will travel to Tiraspol to meet the Transnistrian leader Vadim Krasnoselsky and Chief Negotiator Vitaly Ignatiev.

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