Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has held a meeting with the Moldovan Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary Tatyana Molchan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that that the parties had discussed Russian media outlets’ situation in Moldova and the Transnistria issue.
"Russia emphasized the need to ensure the free operation of Russian media outlets and the use of the Russian language in Moldova, as well as to remove obstacles preventing the two countries from making bilateral agreements to tackle migration issues and prevent the desecration of Russian war memorials," the statement reads.
Karasin also pointed out that Russian nationals continued to receive entry bans on the Moldovan border, TASS reported.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, while discussing bilateral relationship, the parties agreed that its current state did not live up to its potential, as there were not enough contacts between the two countries’ governments, parliaments and ministries despite an active high-level dialogue. In this regard, the parties discussed ways to improve the situation, including the possibility of holding a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.
Russia confirmed its readiness to promote dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol as a guarantor country and a mediator in negotiations, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.
"Russia stated that in order to resolve the Transnistria issue, the opposing sides needed to reach a reasonable and balanced compromise with the assistance of international mediators," the statement says. "Russia pointed out that it was counterproductive to keep raising the question of its military presence on the left bank of the Dniester River, particularly at international platforms," the ministry added.
The parties agreed that there was a need to continue the "five-plus-two" process involving Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and observers from the United States and the European Union.
A thing to note is that Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the conflict zone on July 29, 1992, in compliance with an agreement to peacefully settle the armed conflict in the Transnistrian region of Moldova that the presidents of Russia and Moldova signed in the presence of the Transnistrian leader on July 21, 1992. At present, Russian peacekeepers maintain peace in the security zone that separates the sides, together with peacekeepers from Moldova and Transnistria and a group of military observers from Ukraine.
The Russian Operational Group, also deployed to Transnistria, is mandated to assist the peacekeeping operation and protect ammunition depots near the community of Kolbasna, which store over 20,000 tonnes of munitions brought there following the Soviet Army’s withdrawal from European countries. Tiraspol opposes the withdrawal of Russian troops considering their presence to be "the sole guarantee of peace in the Dniester River area."