OSCE Ambassadors press Transdniestrian authorities to be more constructive

Posted in Other | 12-Jun-04

A train loaded with military materials leaving the Transdniestrian region of Moldova for Russia on 16 December 2002.

CHISINAU, 11 June 2004 – At a press conference today, a high-level OSCE delegation visiting Moldova pressed the authorities of the separatist Transdniestrian region to take a more constructive stance in the negotiation process on a settlement with Chisinau.

The delegation, which included Ambassadors of several OSCE participating States, was headed by the Chairman of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Ivo Petrov, representing this year's Bulgarian OSCE Chairmanship.

During its visit, it questioned the Transdniestrian leadership about the fate of the Moldovan schools in Transdniestria teaching Moldovan/Romanian in the Latin script. The Ambassadors demanded that the Transdniestrian authorities stop the harassment of teachers, pupils and parents preferring the Latin to the Cyrillic script and to have the schools in question registered according to an agreement brokered by the OSCE Mission to Moldova last summer.

In their meetings with the Transdniestrian leadership, as well as with the Moldovan President, Vladimir Voronin, Vice-Speaker of Parliament Vadim Misin, Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan and Minister for Reintegration Vasile Sova, the Ambassadors emphasized that they regarded the mediator's document – presented earlier this year to both sides – as a sound basis for the negotiation process.

The delegation also discussed the still-uncompleted withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, and the question of a possible international border monitoring operation along the Moldovan-Ukrainian border.

During their stay, the Ambassadors received a briefing by General Boris Sergeev, Commander of the Operative Group of Russian Forces in the Transdniestrian Region, and met independent non-governmental organizations and several opposition politicians.

They also paid visits to Moldovan schools and villages in Transdniestria, as well as to the closed Gura-Bicului bridge, which lies on the main highway from the Black Sea to the Baltic.