Russia is thoroughly preparing for the forthcoming 5+2 talks on Moldova's breakaway republic of Transdnestr, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
The 5+2 talks involve Moldova, Transdnestr, Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the United States and the European Union. In February 2006, the talks stalled as well as the work of permanent meetings.
"The first round of the talks will be held later this month in Vilnius, Lithuania. We are making serious arrangements," Lavrov said.
He said that Russia, as a mediator in the talks, "is ready to become a guarantor" for a "solid and sustainable political solution" that would both respect Moldova's territorial integrity and provide a special status to Transdnestr.
Moldova's Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca said Chisinau's European integration plans would not harm the strategic partnership with Russia.
"We feel that Moldova has no need to choose whether it should be either with the European Union or with Russia," he said. "Borders should gradually become nominal, as is currently happening in Europe, within the Customs Union, the Common Economic Space and, in the future, the Eurasian Economic Union."
The Russian foreign minister is currently on a working visit to Moldova. His previous visit to the country took place in October 2009.