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Moldova Welcomes Russian-German Initiative On Transdniester

Prime Minister Vlad Filat says Moldova is ready to cooperate with its international partners.
CHISINAU -- Moldova's prime minister has welcomed a joint Russian-German initiative to step up efforts aimed at solving the two-decade conflict over Moldova's separatist Transdniester region, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Prime Minister Vlad Filat said today his country is ready to cooperate to that end "with all international partners."

After bilateral talks on June 5 outside Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a statement proposing the creation of a new EU-Russia security forum, which would take on Transdniester as the first trouble spot on its agenda.

They said the new structure would be jointly led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Merkel-Medvedev statement says the new forum is necessary because "existing mechanisms" have so far failed to solve regional conflicts and crises.

Last month Merkel promised Filat during his visit to Berlin that she would talk "personally" to the Russians about Transdniester.

Efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to revive negotiations on the Transdniester dispute in the so-called "5+2 format" have failed.

Those negotiations -- involving Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the EU, the United States, and officials from Chisinau and Tiraspol -- have been stalled since 2006, and the separatists have recently said they see no need to resume them.

Transdniester broke away from Moldova in the early 1990s, sparking a short but bloody war.