WASHINGTON -- Moldova’s ambassador to the United States says Washington should give higher priority to resolving the separatist conflict in Transdniester in its relations with Moscow.
Igor Munteanu, Chisinau’s top diplomat in the United States, made the comment to RFE/RL after speaking in Washington at a June 14 briefing organized by the U.S. Helsinki Commission called "Prospects for Unfreezing Moldova’s Frozen Conflict."
"This conflict is not a marginal conflict," Munteanu said. "It's not a part of the peripheral disputes. It's an element of the strategic engagement between Russia and transatlantic allies and I think this should be raised up and should receive wider dimension in the security dialogue."
Munteanu said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s “reset” strategy, which aims to improve relations between Washington and Moscow, provides a “gateway and window” for the United States to further push Russia on removing its troops from the Moscow-backed breakaway Moldovan territory.
Looking ahead to the June 21 resumption of "5+2" talks on the conflict, involving representatives of Moldova, Transdniester, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE, plus the United States and the European Union, Munteanu said, "We expect very much that we will witness a dynamic increase in mobilization of political support from the United States."