Analyst Oazu Nantoi: meeting between Vladimir Voronin and Igor Smirnov is likely to lead to resuming talks

The meeting between Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and self-styled leader of the Transnistrian area Igor Smirnov will most probably lead to resuming the talks on settling the Transnistrian conflict, political analyst Oazu Nantoi has told Info-Prim Neo. Vladimir Voronin is ending his second presidential term and wants to present the voters a positive and concrete result of his rule, the expert says. On the other hand, Russia has opted for a tactic of luring Moldova and does not want to reject it into the European Union’s or, possibly, NATO’s arms. Thus the negotiating process is likely to resume. Another prerequisite is the sudden worsening of the social-economic situation on the left bank of the Nistru, where an increasing part of the population cannot bear the rising prices and misery any longer. The political analyst says these two factors combined will lead to a meeting between Voronin and Smirnov, to result in some vague wordings regarding the re-establishment of trust and the resuming of the negotiations. Oazu Nantoi maintains, in case they halt at the formula promoted by Russia that the sides are equal, then the process is going to be sterile and no crucial change will occur, as the talks will be but mimed. The expert admits the situation is very confuse and it is difficult to forecast how the events are going to develop, especially if one takes into account that the meeting between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin ended without any result. Putin yielded nothing to NATO in terms of the Treaty on the Conventional Forces in Europe, the delicate point of which was the Russians’ illegal military presence on the left bank of the Nistru. Oazu Nantoi recalls that, on 22 June 2007, at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Moldovan counterpart Vladimir Voronin at Novo-Ogoryovo, they discussed the detailed solution of the conflict in a package. This agreement is much talked about in Chisinau, as the Kremlin keeps silence. The agreement envisages a series of actions, including to re-establish the trust between the two river banks. The Moldovan President’s press service has announced Vladimir Voronin had a phone talk with Igor Smirnov on Monday, agreeing to have a bilateral meeting to consider trust-building matters between Chisinau and Tiraspol.

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