Talks about Moldovan separatist region to resume

AP News
Posted: Nov 22, 2011 9:29 AM
Talks about Moldovan separatist region to resume

Negotiations on the separatist region of Trans-Dniester will resume next week in Lithuania, five years after they stalled, Moldova's prime minister announced Tuesday.

Vlad Filat's office said he and separatist leader Igor Smirnov decided to restart the talks after a meeting Monday in the separatist town of Bender, mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the U.S. will also take part in the Nov. 30 talks to be held in Vilnius.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a visit to Moldova Tuesday that Trans-Dniester, which is supported but not recognized by Moscow, should have a special status within Moldova, a former Soviet Republic of some 4.1 million.

Lavrov called for a "long-term solution" for Trans-Dniester, which broke away from Moldova in 1990 and fought a war with Moldovan forces in 1992 that left 1,500 people dead.

Discussions over the status of Trans-Dniester were suspended in 2006 after Moldovan authorities and the separatists failed to agree on anything.