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Deputy assistant of the U.S. state secretary, Steven Pifer: Washington favours the pentagonal format of the negociations

Deputy assistant of the U.S. state secretary, Steven Pifer pleaded for the resumption of the negociations on Transnistria in a pentagonal format with Russia, Ukraine and OSCE participating as mediators in the conflict between Chişinău and Tiraspol. Speaking at a news conference in Chişinău, Steven Pifer stressed that Washington did not regard a change of this format as timely.

According to BASA Press, Steven Pifer urged Russia to resume the withdrawal of its troops and weapons from Moldova, stressing that the OSCE mediation efforts must become a basis for a solution to the Transnistrian problem.

Asked to define the limits of autonomy that the Transnistrian region should have within a federal state, Pifer said that the U.S. did not intend to table any concrete suggestions regarding the Transnistria settlement formula, and that it was up to Chişinău and Tiraspol, assisted by the mediators, to establish the autonomy level for Transnistria at the negotiation table.

Commenting on the Kozak Memorandum, Pifer recalled that both the U.S. and other OSCE member states had serious objections against this project proposed by Russia last November. He mentioned the competence division system, which did not provide for a clear delimitation of attributions between the centre and local authorities, a fact that could impair the viability and functioning of the future joint government.