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Moldova is ready to offer broad autonomy to Transnistria, Iurie Leanca says


Moldova is ready to offer Transnistria a broad autonomy like the one in Catalonia, says premier Iurie Leanca in an interview for the Russian daily Vedomosti.Premier Iurie Leanca said in that interview that Chisinau authorities do not intend to “elaborate a plan to solve the Transnistrian conflict” and will “concentrate on gradual progress, understanding the limits which cannot be overcome,” the Chisinau press writes.


Premier Iurie Leanca’s statement comes when negotiations in the 5+2 format for the solution of the Transnistrian conflict registered no progress last year, while the signing of the Association Accord with EU by Moldova triggered disputes between Chisinau and Tiraspol.


At the same time Russia warned Moldova that getting closer to EU might bring along losing Transnistria, while the Tiraspol Supreme Soviet approved last year a law proposed by the separatist leader Evgeny Sechuk about the taking over of the Russian legislation by the separatist administration.

In the interview published for the Russian publication Vedomosti, the head of the Chisinau government assured the press that Russia would not recognize the independence of the separatist region. “Tiraspol expects recognition from Russia but that will not happen. Now there are no strategic or economic premises. Recently a declaration was adopted at the OSCE meeting in Kiev, in which all participants, Russia included confirmed the principle of solving the basic conflict based on observing Moldova’s territorial integrity,” Leanca said.


He also explained that the closeness between Moldova and EU would bring benefits and opportunities both for the business environment in the Transnistria regions, and the one in Russia, which has important economic interests in the area. “Unique opportunities open in the European market. In the context of a political solution, we will be ready to speak about property rights in Transnistria based on the declarative principle, allowing enterprises to access regional credits and funds,” premier Leanca said.


He added that the elimination of visas between Moldova and EU will be beneficial for people living in Transnistria. “People who live in Transnistria and have Moldova passports – 300,000 citizens from Moldova live there- will receive the right to travel without visas in the Schengen area when visas are eliminated,” Leanca added. He also said that “obtaining a regime without visas has the biggest impact from the psychological point of view: people feel free…”, UNIMEDIA writes.


When asked about the possible pressures Russia could make on Moldova not to sign the Association Accord with EU, premier Leanca declared that he could not guess whether that may happen. “It is certain that Moldova will be open to dialogue with the Russian partners in order to avoid misunderstandings. Moldova does not intend to play a political game in the interest of Russia or EU. The country is no a player or an element of geopolitical confrontation. Moldova will try to preserve good relations with both sides,” he added in the interview for Vedomosti, according to Info-Prim Neo.