The European Union partly lifted sanctions imposed against the former leadership of the Moldovan breakaway republic of Transdnestr in 2003, the EU Council said in a statement on Thursday.
The EU imposed travel bans for a number of Transdnestr officials, who according to the organization, obstructed the conflict settlement between Moldova and the unrecognized republic as well as sought closure of schools that used Latin script in the republic.
“The Council today lifted a travel ban on the former political leadership of the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova. This acknowledges progress seen under the new leadership in negotiating certain aspects of a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict within the "5+2" framework,” the statement said.
The 5+2 format includes Transdnestr, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE, the U.S. and the EU.
The statement, however, said that travel bans could be “re-imposed on those
blocking progress on the remaining problems regarding Latin-script Moldovan schools,” in Transdnestr.
The Russian-speaking province of Transdnestr has maintained de facto independence from Moldova since a brief war in 1992 following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
A joint peacekeeping force of Russian, Moldovan and Transdnestr contingents has been deployed in the area. Transdnestr seeks full independence, while Moldova says it is only prepared to allow autonomy.