The fall of the Soviet Union led to a series of armed conflicts in the periphery, which later became frozen, only to perpetuate instability in the regions concerned. Moldova's region of Transnistria is a case in point. Following a brief war and a number of settlement proposals from Russian and Ukrainian representatives, the separatist entity continues to undermine Moldova's territorial integrity. Economic developments in Moldova, and especially in Transnistria, show that neither side is better off as a result of the secession. The Gagauz experience, albeit imperfect, is nonetheless a successful example of peaceful conflict settlement. Moldova's European integration ambitions offer increased incentives for cooperation. Thus, a pathway towards a political settlement becomes imperative, since for the past quarter century the status quo has been detrimental to both parties. Economic and geopolitical developments in the region present a window of opportunity. The Moldovan Government and Parliament need to be ready to capitalize on this rare chance.
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