On 27–28 November, after a year and a half break, international talks on a resolution to the Transnistria conflict took place in Vienna. They were preceded by the signing of technical agreements facilitating everyday life for the inhabitants of the region which includes the Republic of Moldova and separatist Transnistria. Although the agreements do not guarantee a political settlement is forthcoming, their implementation may build trust between the parties. At the same time, Russia can use them to demonstrate it is an effective guarantor of peace in the post-Soviet area.
Transnistria is internationally unrecognised but is in fact a Russian political, economic, and military protectorate. Moscow’s long-term goal is not to annex Transnistria but to achieve a kind of reintegration that ensures Russian control over a united Moldova. For now, Russia uses Transnistria as an instrument to pressure Moldova. The only official forum for peace negotiations is the “5+2” format, which includes Moldova and Transnistria as the belligerents, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE as mediators, and the European Union and the United States as observers.
Source: Bulletin PISM No. 126 (1066) 19 December 2017.