Moldova. According to
Countryaah, Petru Lucinschi was installed as president on
January 15 after the victory in the November/December 1996
elections. The next day he appointed Ion Ciubuc as prime
Also in the breakaway region of the Dnestre Republic, a
presidential installation took place when Igor Smirnov
January 10, after being re-elected in December 1996, was
installed for a second period.
The newly elected presidents held a meeting in early
January to discuss the resumption of negotiations on the
future relations between the M. and the Dnestre Republic.
The talks had been down since the summer of 1996, when
then-Moldovan President Mircea Snegur had refused to sign a
diplomatic note on normalizing relations between the
In April, there was a breakthrough in the talks between
Moldova and representatives of the Dnestre Republic, led by
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenej Primakov as mediator. It
was decided to sign the diplomatic note on normalization,
which was then implemented by Presidents Petru Lucinschi and
Igor Smirnov in Moscow on May 8. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin and his Ukrainian colleague Leonid Kuchma signed on
Many assessors regarded the note as a breakthrough, even
though it contained no other commitments to the parties than
to continue the talks "within the framework of a state." Nor
does the note say anything about what constitutional status
should finally be granted to the Dnestre Republic.
In mid-October, the two parties agreed on a number of
"confidence-building measures" to further improve relations
between them. The measures include mutual monitoring of
troop movements in the security zone between the M. and the
Dnestre Republic and a reduction in this zone. On November
10, Prime Minister Ciubuc and President Smirnov signed an
agreement on increased economic and social cooperation
between the parties.
At the beginning of November, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) confirmed its intention to postpone the last
installment of a loan it granted to Moldova. The reason was that
the Moldova government failed to meet the financial goals required
for the loan.