Update on the Former Moldavian SSR Dispute
By Michael Averko
The on again/off again former Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) settlement talks were restarted with last week’s (Dec. 24) meeting in Tiraspol between the leaders of Moldova and Pridnestrovie (also referred to as Transnistria, Transdniestria, Transdnestr and Trans-Dniester). This meeting resulted in both sides agreeing to hold further talks on “confidence-building measures,” as quoted from the Moldovan state news agency Moldpres.
Some commentary is of the view that this summer’s war in the former Georgian SSR is quite relevant to the previous backtracking of negotiations between Moldova and Pridnestrovie. This opinion stresses the different positions taken by the former Moldavian SSR interlocutors on the mentioned conflict in the Caucasus. Putting aside diplomatic and other posturing, a key obstacle appears to be Pridnestrovie’s government wanting a lesser relationship with Moldova – which seems to be counter to the Moldovan government’s preference. Relative to the Georgian government’s August 7 strike on South Ossetia, Moldova has stated that it does not support military action to resolve the former Moldavian SSR dispute. Moldova’s non-recognition of Abkhaz and South Ossetian independence is currently shared by every country with the exceptions Russia and Nicaragua. Since November 17, 2006, Pridnestrovie, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have recognized each other as independent states. Russia continues to not formally recognize Pridnestrovie’s separation from Moldova. Shortly after its counterattack against Georgia, Russia repeated its support to see a negotiated former Moldavian SSR settlement that results in Pridnestrovie and Moldova as a national entity having regional autonomy.