Moldova is ready to make compromises to unite the country and opposes hard options for solving the Transnistria problem, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said in an interview published Friday.

“We see how this turned out for other countries, and we are ready to make compromises to unite the country. All our partners in the West and in the East recognize it,” Dodon told Russia’s Izvestia newspaper.

The president pointed out that the heavy-handed approach will mean the loss of the statehood of Moldova.

“There should not be a heavy-handed approach to Transnistria. I think that the problem should be solved only through negotiations, and we need to meet each other. Surely, there are ‘hotheads,’ but there are very few of them. I do not rule out they are pushed by someone from the West, so that another flash point appeared here. I have always been and will be categorically against such a scenario,” Dodon said.

The Transnistrian conflict began in 1990 when the region, with predominantly ethic Russian and Ukrainian population, separated from the Soviet Republic of Moldova for fear of the latter’s possible reunion with Romania. The move triggered a war that ended in a ceasefire in July 1992, but with no resolution to the conflict. Since 2005, the talks on the conflict have been held in the 5+2 format, which, apart from Transnistria and Moldova, includes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States as mediators.

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