16:25 Jul. 26, 2016
Frozen conflict should be solved before "it goes hot", German Finance Minister says
The Transnistria conflict could be solved by providing special status to the self-proclaimed republic within united and sovereign Moldova. This is according to German Foreign Affairs Minister and current OSCE chairman Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Interfax reports.
The Minister insists, Moldavian crisis should be solved, because there are risks that the currently "frozen" conflict might escalate into a war.
"OSCE faces many challenges, new conflicts emerge at the times when the old ones are still nor solved. We call the old conflicts "frozen", but there are always risks that they might go hot. Nagorno-Karabakh serves as an example. That's why the German OSCE chairmanship aims at solving such conflicts. ", Steinmeier said during the meeting with Moldavian Prime Minister Pavel Filip on Tuesday, July 26.
The Minister added, the resolution of the conflict should begin with solving "simple issues". He proposed to start with the "problems of recognition" of Transnistrian diplomas and license plates so that local cars could go abroad.
He also supported the restoration of the movement along the currently closed bridges across Dnipro river as well as opening Moldavian schools in the separatist region.
"We are realists. The Transnistria conflict is 20 years old, and lots of problems have emerged during these years. We realize these problems cannot be solved in two days, but we should start with smaller issues", Steinmeier stated.
He concluded, current seemingly peaceful situation in Transnistria should not soothe the world community.
The Transnistria region which lies within Moldova was a site of a bloody separatist war in 1992 after the Soviet Union broke apart. Transnistria combatants with direct military support from Russia managed to fight off the government forces and establish a self-proclaimed republic. It has been under Moscow's control since than.
The conflict is considered unresolved, and occasional negotiations on the crisis are held by Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and the West. The last talks took place in July in Germany, but the sides didn't reach any progress in the conflict settlement.