Moldovan president Petru Lucinschi’s senior aide, Anatol Taran, has unveiled in Chisinau a plan to convene a Transdniester peace conference as soon as possible near Moscow. The event would take as its model the Dayton conference that produced a peace settlement for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Taran stressed that urgent and purposeful action by all interested sides is essential after years of neglect, lest the Transdniester problem become as chronic and intractable as the Cyprus or Lebanon problems. According to Taran, Chisinau’s basic assumption is that Russia badly needs at this time some kind of international diplomatic success, particularly one that would demonstrate that Moscow can act "objectively" in helping to settle a regional conflict in the former USSR. While hoping to capitalize on Moscow’s quest for a diplomatic success, Moldova considers the OSCE’s and Ukraine’s participation in the peace conference as indispensable "in order to counterbalance Russian influence," Taran said. Ukraine and an OSCE mission — currently headed by the U.S. — function under some limitations alongside Russia as mediators in the Transdniester conflict. Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Petru Lucinschi discussed the peace conference plan at their Moscow meeting last week. (Basapress, Flux, February 28, March 1)
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