Russia to solve Transnistrian conflict: Muscovite publication

„Russia to solve Transnistrian conflict” titles the version in English of the web-site of the Muscovite publication Kommersant, quoted by Info-Prim Neo. The author writes that, in arranging the upcoming meeting between the Moldovan President and the Tiraspol leader, Moscow is instrumental and „the Transnistrian conflict’s settlement now enters its final stage. Using Moldova’s example, Russia wants to teach the West a lesson of correct solving of territorial conflicts”. A communique issued by the press service of the Tiraspol leader reads that, at the one-on-one negotiations between the leaders, they will discuss “the draft universal treaty on friendship and cooperation between Moldova and Transdniestria, and Moldova’s initiatives for developing and strengthening the measures of trust”. Moldovan authorities’ reconciliation initiatives immediately found a ready response in Moscow. „Russia hopes that the meeting between Moldova’s and Transnistria’s leaders will help exit the stalemate in the Transnistrian settlement’s negotiation process,” Valery Nesterushkin, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s ambassador for special missions, said Monday. “All that is very good. Now we should wait for specific agreements,” said a source in the Russian president’s administration. The newspaper reminds that, in an interview published on 13 March, Smirnov categorically declared “that negotiations with Moldova, and moreover a reunion with it, are out of question, and that Tiraspol would push for recognizing the area’s independence”, and only four days later, on March 17, after being received by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Smirnov suddenly disproved his own recent statements, and said he was ready to “agree to restoring direct contacts with Vladimir Voronin”. The author of the article from Kommersant finds everybody is interested in the soonest solution of the conflict. Russia – to show the West conflicts can be solved through other means than the Kosovo way – preserving the states’ territorial integrity. Voronin needs concrete achievements for the parliamentary elections of 2009. “Strange as it may seem solving the conflict is good for Smirnov as well, in order to let him end his career with dignity, acting as a peacemaker”, writes Kommersant, “since Smirnov lost his advocates in the Russian Duma, and the new speaker of the Tiraspol legislature, Yevgeni Shevchuk does not hide his aspiration for the chief position in the unrecognized republic and is eyed by Moscow as an alternative to Igor Smirnov”.

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