Reintegration process depends on country’s movement in European direction, Deputy Premier

Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian said the reintegration process depends on the country’s movement in the European direction. It is very important to have a dialogue with Tiraspol, including on this European file. The conditions that the Republic of Moldova has undertaken to meet must be gradually extended to the left bank of the Nistru. In this way, the settlement process becomes not something complementary to the European integration process, but remains an independent process that will be yet powerfully influenced by the European integration process. The statements were made at the first Moldova’s Reintegration Forum that was held in Chisinau on Thursday, IPN reports.

Oleg Serebrian noted that the Transnistrian file is closely linked to everything that happens in Ukraine. “Naturally, February 24, 2022 was a turning point in everything related to the Transnistrian file. Suddenly, all the approaches taken up to then became obsolete. Some of them were canceled. The 5+2 negotiation format was put on hold. The 1+1 format and the related working groups entered a new phase of rethinking. The quality of relations between Tiraspol and Chisinau has changed. Accents in the relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol changed,” noted the official.

According to him, there were different visions, plans, projects, strategies for reintegration until February 2022 too. Some, seen from today’s height, perhaps seem naïve or unadjusted to the current reality, and this is because the war in Ukraine has completely changed the coordinates of all conflicts in the Black Sea region. “I think that at a certain moment, not just us we, but the international community must also thing so that we have a complex and integrated vision on security in the Black Sea region in general. However, all these frozen conflicts in the Black Sea area are somehow linked, have a common genesis and are interdependent. It is difficult to talk about the Transnistrian settlement without talking about peace in Ukraine, just as it is difficult to talk about the settlement of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz files without taking into account the other two files in the north of the Black Sea,” said Oleg Serebrian.

In his opinion, the EU must already have another say in the settlement process, in rethinking the settlement process of all these files, not only the Transnistrian one. “What is very important in the settlement process is not to create surprises. I mean the steps we take should be coordinated with our partners and friends from outside, with Brussels. We have a political and moral obligation at the moment as a candidate state to coordinate, analyze those steps that we consider legitimate in the reintegration process and to also carefully calculate and think out the consequences of these steps. The same refers to our partners in Ukraine, with whom we have a common agenda in many respects. As with Romania, which, although it is part of the EU, still has a specific status and role in this process, taking into account the neighborhood, historical relations, ethnic composition, the number of Romanian citizens on the territory of the Republic of Moldova,” noted the Deputy Prime Minister.

According to him, attention should be now devoted to the European file and the European file should be correlated with the reintegration file. “And how do we corroborate the two processes, which cannot be synchronized? This does not mean that we prepare ourselves to be ahead of each other. Everyone has to go with their natural step. Naturally, the process of reintegration depends on our movement in the European direction. What will set the tone in the country’s reintegration process will be the speed with which we will go in the European direction and not vice versa,” said Oleg Serebrian said.

The Reintegration Forum is organized by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Moldova and the Bureau for Reintegration Policies, in cooperation with Expert-Grup and Promo-LEX Association.

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