Following the September 17 referendum that approved Transnistria’s secession from Moldova and goal of joining Russia in a Soviet-style 97% vote, Moldova is being pressed into negotiating with Transnistria without even a decent interval. The forces behind such pressure are a familiar constellation: Moscow and elements within the OSCE. The latter include the organization’s Belgian chairmanship and old-timers within the OSCE’s Moldova Mission, the main public spokesman for whom is the mission’s German deputy chief Gottfried Hanne. The European Union and the United States -- “observers” in the 5+2 negotiating format -- also favor the resumption of negotiations, but are not pressing for immediate “results.” Russia and those elements in the OSCE, however, are turning up the pressure on Moldova for quick results at the country’s expense. They seek to adopt Transnistria’s political status on the quick, with Russia’s troops in place, Transnistria’s army and pervasive security apparatus intact, and holdover OSCE officials facing perhaps their last chance to implement the old recipes to which they are wedded.
Shaking the Eight Ball says: Outcome does not look favourable.