Transnistria: Ukraine’s approach and expectations from OSCE’s chairmanship

By Alyona Getmanchuk, director of Institute of World Policy

Romania and Ukraine share a common interest in having as a neighbor a united and functional Republic of Moldova. The frozen conflict in Transnistria may jeopardize the EU perspective of Chișinău, which Romania values highly.

Since the Republic of Moldova has made rapid steps into deepening its relation with the EU, 2013 may be the key year.

One way or another, Ukraine may provide the concrete, field-based solutions that Chișinău needs in order to avoid derailing its effort towards an EU future.

The current report is part of the project ”Romania – Ukraine Civic Forum” – implemented together by the Romanian Center for European Policies and its partners in Kyiv, Institute of World Policy.

Ukraine represents one of the most important actors in the ongoing discussion about the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

Ukraine has a great potential to develop the necessary premises for providing a peaceful resolution for the Transnistrian long lasting conflict.

Ukraine’s potential is randomly used and the interest in taking a more active role is quite limited. Thereby, the main question is how Ukraine could be able to influence the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, when the Russian Federation holds the sphere of influence in the region by granting directly financial allocations and indirectly free gas.

Ukraine, due to its geographical position, is able i) to enhance control on the Transnistrian perimeter of the Ukraine-Moldova border, ii) to boost regional cooperation, to support the integration mechanisms -such as the development of the Euro-region “Nistru” -, iii) to support the reform of the peacekeeping mission and iv) to mediate the talks between Chisinau and the leaders from Tiraspol.

The reports gives the stakeholders interested in developing new dimensions for the cooperation in the region a portrait of the Ukraine’s attitude towards Transnistria warning that a limited political interest won’t bring a positive outcomes  for the Transnistrian settlement. The report also brings in dept analysis of the Transnistria’s place on the map – seen by the civil society, reported by media as well as explains several scenarios for enhancing the border control from Ukraine and/or from Republic of Moldova.

Ukraine has the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2013. Along with Russia, Ukraine is a guarantor of the peace building progress in the 5 + 2 format. It has the necessary leverage over the negotiating parties and now has diplomatic tools to set the agenda. It is ideally placed to move things forward in the negotiations that faced a standstill in the second part of 2012.

Full report, in English, is available here.

Romanian Center for European Policies and the Institute of World Policy (Ukraine) also launched, in December 2012, the report “Narrowing the perceptions gap – views from Kyiv and Bucharest” which identifies and explains a number of negative perceptions and gives details about possible solutions diplomats of the two capitals should take into account in order to move to a consistent bilateral agenda and to build a partnership based on strategic objectives.

Full report, in English, is available here