Ana Maria Albulescu
DiscussionWhilst a rich body of research relying on comparative case study methodology is useful for understand broad patterns of continuity and change in the history pf post-Soviet conflicts, this paper proposes an in-depth examination of conflict settlement proposals in the case of the Transnistrian conflict. What role do previous settlement proposals still have in influencing the view of primary parties in their search for a peace? And most importantly how can such an agreement look, considering the existing format in which negotiations are held and the historical involvement of third parties in this framework? Relying on process tracing of archival primary documents elaborated in the course of negotiations since 1992, this paper assesses the normative positions towards the principles of sovereignty and democracy of external actors (US and EU) the OSCE and neighboring states (Ukraine and Russia) involved in the official 5 plus 2 mediation process in order to understand the repeated failure of finding a political settlement for the Transnistrian conflict. This paper addresses two important aspects. Firstly it looks at the role of external actor in the negotiation process in Transnistria, relying on a broad range of secondary sources from the literature on peace mediation. Secondly this paper proposes an understanding of successes and failure in the context of past mediation efforts and conflict settlement proposals.