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TRANSDNIESTRIA CONFLICT TO BE "UNFROZEN"?

RIA Novosti

TIRASPOL, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is going to "unfreeze" the conflict in Transdniestria (the Dniester left-bank territory with polyethnic, mostly Russian-speaking, population. In the early 1990s, it left the jurisdiction of Chisinau and declared the formation of the Independent Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic with the center in Tiraspol). The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Slovenian Foreign Minister, Dimitrij Rupel said this to journalists on Monday after a meeting with Transdniestrian leader Igor Smirnov.

"We would like to melt the conflict, which has for a long time been called 'frozen'", Mr. Rupel said.

"We would like to make our own contribution to improve life for the people of Moldova residing on the banks of the Dniester", the OSCE chairman-in-office said.

In discussion was also the format of talks to settle the problem of Transdniestria. As is known, the two conflicting sides are involved - Moldova and Transdniestria, as well as Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE.

"We have proposed several additions to complement the format", Mr. Rupel said. He did not specify (meanwhile, Chisinau does not make a secret of it, proposing the inclusion of the United States, Rumania and the European Community).

Mr. Rupel said that in discussion at the meeting was also the problem of presence of the Operative Group of Russian Troops in the region.

"The OSCE is very much concerned over the presence of foreign troops in the territory of Moldova. We are also concerned over the arms depots found in the territory of Transdniestria", Mr. Rupel added.

Later in the day, a meeting will be held in Chisinau between the OSCE chairman-in-office and Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.



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