Is leader Smirnov conceding?

The visit of the deputy secretary of the Supreme Security Council of Russia, Yuri Zubakov to Chisinau and Tiraspol allows political analysts conclude the Transnistrian conflict negotiators realize the urge to resume the talks, the Info-Prim Neo correspondent in the Transnistrian area reports. The news agency “Novy Region” remarks that, during the meeting between Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov and Yuri Zubakov, the parties discussed about regulating the relationships between Chisinau and Tiraspol, the Kosovo precedent and the hearings in the Russian Parliament, to take place on March 13, as the representatives of Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be attending. One of the main discussion topics has been the social-economic cooperation between Russia and Transnistria. According to Zubakov, Russia understands it’s not easy for Transnistria to survive. “Russia will never let down the people in need, especially the Transnistrian people,” the deputy secretary of the Supreme Security Council of Russia stated, as quoted by Novy Region. Political analysts from the area explain the soft-hearted attitude the Tiraspol leader has been showing, first, by the freeze in the relationships with Moscow, as meanwhile Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin has managed to improve the relationships between Russia and Moldova. Second, the experts point to Gazprom’s increasing dissatisfaction with the debts of over USD1 billion for the gas delivered to the area. And all this happens as the people pay their bills regularly. Analysts in the region recall that it is for the first time, since the talks were halted, that Smirnov declares himself available to take concrete measures to regulate the Transnistrian conflict, after Tiraspol was visited by the special representative of the OSCE president in office, Heikki Talvitie, and by the leadership of Russia’s Gazprom. “It is necessary that Transnistria and Moldova start showing possibilities in coming up with concrete trust measures to resume an ample and equitable dialog to each other,” Smirnov said at the meeting with Heikki Talvitie. He also expressed hope “the efforts of the parties and mediators will allow for making small, if concrete, steps for regulating the relationships between Transnistria and Moldova.” A press release from President Voronin’s press service, disseminated on Thursday, March 6, announces that, during the reunion with Yuri Zubakov, an ample exchange of opinions on the Moldovan-Russian relationships was made. They reiterated the positive dynamics in the process of consolidating the partnership between the two countries. The interlocutors also discussed the present stage of the Transnistrian issue. According to the communique, Yuri Zubakov mentioned the need to identify ground to maximally approach the positions of the conflict parties and, to insure the talks would be resumed as soon as possible, on that basis.

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