Italy took over the OSCE chairmanship and foreign minister Angelino Alfano nominated Franco Frattini as representative of the OSCE for the solving of the conflict in Transnistria.

Highly respected for tackling Mafia and organised crime, the Italian magistrate will bring more than 40 years of experience in diplomacy, government, integrity to the role of mediator. He has served twice as Italian Foreign Minister as well as Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security. Frattini has been awarded the ‘Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic’ and ‘Commander of the Legion of Honour’ by the President of France. In 2011, he received the Olympic Order from the IOC in recognition of the significant role he and Italy played in campaigning for the IOC to be awarded Observer status at the United Nations.

“I accepted this position in order to strengthen the stability and security of Europe within the framework of the Italian presidency of the OSCE, I have very good relations with the Russian authorities, which have undoubtedly played a fundamental role in the solution ( of the conflict) in Transnistria, “he explained.

Frattini recalled that at the time he did a lot “also for Moldova, working to bring this country closer to the EU, in particular regarding visa issues.”

“I suppose this will help me offer my contribution in the study of this complex dossier, in which there are still many problems to be solved,” he said.

The OSCE representative expressed the hope of soon making telephone conversations and direct contacts with Russian representatives, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom he described as a friend.

Italy, he said, would also continue strengthening the OSCE’s work to address other protracted conflicts through the existing formats: the Geneva International Discussions on dealing with the consequences of the 2008 conflict in Georgia; the 5+2 Transdniestrian settlement talks; and the work of the Minsk Group and the efforts of its three Co-Chairs in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Frattini said solutions could be reached in at least two sensitive issues on the negotiating table – the license plates for Transnistrian cars and the freedom of movement. For the first issue, Frattini proposes the Italian model applied to the autonomous province of Bolzano. “The symbol of this region appears on the plates of the cars registered in that province. Such a symbol of Transnistria could appear on Moldovan cars and thus be recognizable to citizens, “Frattini told the Russian Ria Novosti news agency.