Diplomats are gathering in the Ukrainian city of Lviv for the next round of talks on Moldova’s frozen conflict with its separatist Transdniester region.
The talks on February 19, under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), are being held in the so-called 5+2 format. It consists of Russia, Ukraine, the United States, the European Union, and the OSCE, as well as Moldova and Transdniester.
Ukraine, which holds the rotating OSCE chairmanship, has made progress on Transdniester a priority.
…However, the focus of the talks in Lviv will be on social and economic issues rather than more sensitive political issues such as Transdniester’s status. Furthermore, Transdniester leader Yevgeny Shevchuk set back hopes for consistent progress when he announced on February 12 that he would not attend the Lviv meeting.
Shevchuk said he was only prepared to discuss a political settlement and Transdniester’s status after all social, economic, and humanitarian questions had been resolved. Moldova argues that Tiraspol has taken this position in order to secure agreements and conditions that will bolster its independence claims.
…Prospects for progress in Lviv risk being further hampered by a developing political crisis in Moldova. On February 13, Prime Minister Vlad Filat announced that his Liberal Democratic Party was withdrawing from the ruling Alliance for European Integration coalition.
At least they’re talking?
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