It is worth noting that many observers were expecting a meeting anytime now of the group that has pioneered international efforts to settle the Transdniester dispute, the "5+2," which includes Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the EU, the United States, and the Moldovans and Transdniestrians. But even Moscow has generally argued for settling the "frozen conflict" in Transdniester before tackling the debt issue. So what's the hurry on that portion of the Gazprom debt (which is said to total around $1.5 billion, including penalties)?
It just so happens that OSCE special envoy Heikke Talvitie arrived in Moldova on July 21 as part of a three-day push to bridge the Chisinau-Tiraspol gap.
And let's just say the prospect of picking up the tab for separatist deadbeats wouldn't go over well with most Moldovans outside of Transdniester. Which could complicate Chisinau's preparations for any 5+2 meeting.
-- Andy Heil