Kelly Keiderling has been appointed Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. She succeeds Dr. Klaus Neukirch, whose term as Head of Mission ended in September.
It is worth noting that the Ambassador is familiar with the situation in the country and the region, as in 2013 she served as Deputy Chief of the US diplomatic mission to Moldova. Keiderling expects cooperation with the authorities of Chisinau and Tiraspol to continue and develop negotiations on the reintegration of Transnistria into the Republic of Moldova.
She is skeptical about the prospects of settling the Transnistrian conflict by continuing the negotiation process in the “5+2” format. It should be remembered that this format includes the parties to the conflict – Moldova and Transnistria; guarantor countries – Ukraine, and Russia; mediators – OSCE, and observers – EU and USA.
As already mentioned, Keiderling is in favor of intensifying bilateral contact between Moldova and Transnistria. She supports the settlement of the conflict in the “1+1” format with the mediation of the OSCE.
In particular, immediately after assuming the post, together with the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transnistrian settlement T. Mayer-Harting, the Ambassador paid a visit to Tiraspol, which resulted in the establishment of a direct channel of communication between the National Security Adviser to the President of Moldova D. Recean and the so-called head of the Transnistrian region V. Krasnoselsky.
In addition, several meetings of working groups on various issues were organized in the “1+1” format.
Promotion of the Transnistrian settlement format proposed by Kelly Keiderling (the above-mentioned 1+1 format with the mediation of the OSCE) will contribute to the official withdrawal of Russia from the negotiation process and the weakening of its influence on Moldova.