Talks expected in May over Moldova breakaway region: OSCE

Talks expected in May over Moldova breakaway region: OSCE

CHISINAU - A new round of talks over Moldova's simmering dispute with pro-Russian breakaway region of Transdniestr at the border with Ukraine, is expected to take place in May, an OSCE official told AFP.

"We are very much expecting for the next round to take place in May", Jennifer Brush, the head of mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Moldova said.

The seven parties involved "are all interested in having these talks continue" though the current tensions in Ukraine bring an amount of uncertainty, Brush said.

A round of talks planned in April had to be postponed because of a dispute over an excise tax law that has since been withdrawn by Moldova.

Talks to broker the Transdniestr "frozen conflict" resumed in 2011 in what is called the "5+2" format -including Moldova, Transdniestr, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE plus the European Union and the United States as observers.

Mainly Russian-speaking Transdniestr made its bid for secession in 1990 as the Soviet Union crumbled, fearing domination by the Romanian-speaking population that makes up the majority in Moldova. It never achieved international recognition.

A short war between the two sides left hundreds dead in the 1990s.

Pro-Western Moldova warned Moscow last month against trying to annex its Russian-speaking region after Transdniestr officials appealed to be brought under the Kremlin's control.

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