After political settlement talks resumed in late 2011, hopes have been raised that resolution of the Transdniestrian conflict in Moldova might lead to a broader understanding between Russia and the EU. Drawing from the analysis in his newly published study of the nearest approach to a settlement in Moldova, the failed Kozak Memorandum almost a decade ago, William Hill, Professor of National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington D.C., offers some thoughts on possibilities for success in the current negotiations, and how longstanding, conflicting Russian and western perceptions and interests in the so-called "near abroad" affect both prospects for progress in Moldova and relations between Russia, the EU, and the U.S.