Vladimir Yastrebchak, “Over the Last Years Republic’s Diplomats Have Managed to Notably Increase the Political Range of Contacts”


Over the last 20 years Pridnestrovien state has gone through a number of stages in its development which have been correspondingly reflected in the sphere of foreign policy. This statement was made during an interview to the First Republican Channel by Transdniestrian Foreign Minister Vladimir Yastrebchak, who on the threshold of the Republic's jubilee put the spotlight on specific areas of the diplomatic service.

He reminded that at the outset, during the period of state formation and its main institutions' establishment foreign policy contacts of Tiraspol were as a rule carried out by means of public diplomacy. This was in many ways a spontaneous non-systematic activity which was connected with the necessity to break a ring of information blockade around the Republic, to make international community learn the truth about the situation on the Dniester. In the course of time, the functions of foreign policy were taken by the government which created a relevant mechanism. It is the President who is in charge of the Transdniestrian foreign policy, while execution of decisions is carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a unified, organized and professionally operating system.

According to the Minister, an important basis for this work was created due to the formation of a fully-fledged normative and legal base, with its key documents being the Foreign Policy Concept of the PMR and the Law on Diplomatic Service. These documents defined clear-cut objectives and provisions for the work of Transdniestrian diplomats and marked its priority lines. First of all, this includes peaceful settlement of Moldova-Transdniestria relations, development of all-round interaction with Russia and Ukraine, as well as with PMR's allies in the Caucasus. Active efforts are taken also in the line of the OSCE and the meetings held on the initiative of the Kazakh Chairmanship of this organization are seen as its bright example. “We are grateful to the OSCE leadership for assistance even though Tiraspol's and our international partners' approaches are not always and not in all aspects coinciding,” told Vladimir Yastrebchak.

Over the past years, as the Minister noted, the diplomats of the Republic have managed to notably increase the political range of contacts. Along with strengthening cooperation with traditional foreign partners, Tiraspol is now steadily developing interaction with the European Union and the USA as well as with various international organizations.

In the words of the Minister, one of the main results of the MFA's work over the recent years is the fact that frequent contacts with foreign representatives have become something common and usual as it should be in diplomatic practice of any civilized state.  “Five or so years ago an arrival in Tiraspol of a US ambassador, for example, was regarded as something out-of-line; nowadays, we can say, it is our routine work,” said the head of the PMR's MFA.

In his response to the questions of the First Republican Channel, Vladimir Yastrebchak marked the most significant documents signed in the intercourse with Transdniestria's foreign partners. In the words of the Minister, these include the Agreement of 1995 on Guarantees of Peace and Maintenance of Security between the Republic of Moldova and Transdniestria; Moscow Memorandum of 1997 which took the Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement process to a new level and internationally fixed the right of Transdniestria for independent activity in many areas. Besides, bilateral agreements on cooperation of the PMR with Ukraine (1997) and with Russia (1997 and 2006) were an essential result since they opened up the opportunity to develop the direct interaction with these states at intergovernmental and interdepartmental levels, and also accords on cooperation with a number of Russian and Ukrainian regions. The head of the PMR's MFA particularly mentioned bilateral documents signed with the South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and also the package of agreements reached in the framework of the Community for Democracy and People's Rights.

In the eye of Vladimir Yastrebchak, there are enough grounds to assume that foreign policy objectives of Tiraspol, its intention to occupy the worthy place in the system of international relations will be successfully realized. In particular, there have recently appeared preconditions for some tangible activization to take place in the relations between Transdniestria and Russia. According to Vladimir Yastrebchak, the address of the head of the Russian MFA, Sergey Lavrov, to the President of Transdniestria, Igor Smirnov, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the PMR has become a vivid sign for this. On the whole, in the words of Vladimir Yastrebchak, the bygone years have proved the capability of the Transdniestrian diplomacy to effectively solve the problems and face the challenges of the time.