After the parties to the Transdniestrian conflict and the mediators met in Odessa on September 26 and 27 political analysts were waiting for the Russian mediator's new proposals, which had been widely publicized, but never specified.

Shortly after the meeting it was announced that the Russian side had conveyed its proposals to Kishinev, Tiraspol, Ukraine and the OSCE.

Several days after the proposals reached the Transdniestrian party Kishinev stated its intention to be guided by solely the Russian side's proposals toward peaceably regulating the conflict, though a mere two months before that Tiraspol accused, and not altogether groundlessly, Kishinev of departing from Ukraine's initiatives.

In the meantime, Moscow appears to have recovered from Tiraspol's slap in rejecting the "Kozak Memorandum."

Also, Moscow obviously vetted the Ukrainian plan and compiled The Basis Principles, Directions and Stages of Transdniestrian Regulation.

Taking into account its rather grievous experience of Russia making its proposals as sort a bolt from the blue to the West, President Vladimir Putin, as some reports allow to suggest, personally conveyed the new document to Javier Solana in an obvious bid for mustering the EU's and the USA's support for the Russian plan.

Proceeding from the international community's favourable view of Ukraine's plan, the Russian proposals were passed as "amendments to the Yushchenko Plan."

It is but too obvious that the new Russian initiative is but a modification of the "Kozak Memorandum."

The new scheme's underlying idea is creation of a new state, named Moldavia and incorporating Moldova and Transdniestrian region.

Same as the Yushchenko Plan, the new Russian scheme guarantees recognition of Transdniestrian state sovereignty. The new state, Moldavia, is supposed to be institutionalized by the Parliamentary Forum, which Kishinev and Tiraspol will form on the parity base.

The Russian plan also provides for the existence of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the Supreme Soviet of Transdniestrian republic and the mixed two-chamber Parliament of Moldavia.

The legal status of Transdniestrian region will be legislatively supported with bills, which a special commission of the two parliamentary delegations will draft.

The legal status of Transdniestrian region will then be confirmed through holding separate referenda in Moldova and Transdniestrian Republic.

Besides, this legal document will have to be endorsed by the three parliaments, along with an agreement among Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, with the OSCE's participation, on guarantees of observance of the parties' agreements on Transdniestrian special legal status.

The agreement is supposed to specify political, economic, military, legal and other guarantees.

In particular, political guarantees specify that in case Moldova loses its legal status as a subject of international relations (through joining Romania), Transdniestrian region may hold a referendum to withdraw from Moldova.

Military guarantees specify terms of forming relevant international military contingents and sending international observers.

Also, Russia's and Ukraine's roles are specified as the "acknowledged guarantor-nations."

The latest Russian initiative has drawn an ambivalent response. Many Moldovan political scientists and analysts tend to view the plan as the continuation of the Kremlin's steady policy toward liquidating the Republic of Moldova as a sovereign state.

They view the recent visit to Kishinev by a high-profile Russian delegation, who were led by chiefs of the National Security Council, as yet another attempt to bring pressure to bear on the Moldovan leadership.

Obviously, Moldova views Ukraine's plan as more promising, particularly, its provisions about the need for the region's democratization.

So, Russia's initiatives look unlikely to be favourably perceived by official Kishinev.

Dmitri Rupel, while on his working tour of Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, stated the OSCE's rather categorical assessment of the Russian plan to regulate the Transdniestrian conflict.

The plan, he said, is too radical in giving Transdniestrian Republic too much independence on Moldova, which would be inadmissible.

Nevertheless, the latest Russian scheme will likely be supported by Ukraine as incorporating similar provisions, such as the need for democratization.

Maybe, Ukraine will complement the Yushchenko Plan with the Russian scheme.

In the final analysis, it does not matter much whose initiative will work.

What matters is to make the regulation scheme acceptable to all the parties.
By official web-page of the Cabinet of Ukraine

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