The Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS Moldova) and SIGMA-Expert NGO launched the project “Transnistrian Dialogues”, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project aims to establish a platform of interaction and exchanges for more than 40 experts, journalists, business people, representatives of civil society as well as cultural and intellectual elites from the two banks of Nistru river, to have constructive discussions on various issues, including issues related to conflict resolution.

The project will help improve personal relations and establish ties between opinion leaders, journalists, public figures from Chisinau and Tiraspol, thus creating conditions for a rational dialogue between the two banks.

At the opening of the event, Valeria Ieșeanu, Head of Programme at UNDP Moldova, expressed confidence that establishing such a communication platform is a useful and constructive decision, that could contribute significantly to the development of an atmosphere of trust between the banks.

“I believe that Transnistria should not be regarded as a territory to be returned under the control of Chisinau, but as a community of people – almost half a million people, with their concerns, hopes and fears. It is therefore very important that we listen to these people, understand them better and find suitable ways to approach them”, said Andrei Popov, President of IPIS.

The first meeting of participants to the Transnistrian Dialogues program took place late last week, between September 28-30, in Vadul-lui-Voda. Among the speakers were Ambassador Peter Michalko, Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, Dmitri Danilov, Professor at MGIMO, Serhiy Pirozhkov, Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and other guests.

Peter Michalko spoke about the approach of the European Union to the “5+2” negotiations format, Transnistrian settlement, and the EU policy to strengthen confidence measures between the two banks of Nistru. Dmitri Danilov referred to the topical issues of Russian foreign policy, focusing on Russia’s relations with the EU and on how they influence the situation in the Eastern Partnership countries. For his part, Serhiy Pirozhkov described the stages of Ukraine’s involvement in the Transnistrian conflict settlement process, and presented the main conclusions of the study “Ukraine on the path of society consolidation”.

The second reunion of the participants to the “Transnistrian Dialogues” program is scheduled for mid-November 2018.