Vladimir Yastrebchak Summed Up the Results of Consultations in Moscow


One of the main obstacles to the resumption of official work in 5+2 format is the absence of any practical progress in solving the problems, existing in the relations between Tiraspol and Kishinev. PMR's Foreign Minister Vladimir Yastrebchak proclaimed this information on the briefing, organized for journalists from Pridnestrovien media and from the media, accredited on the territory of the republic. During his communication with the representatives of press, the Head of MFA described the details of the latest round of unofficial consultations with the participation of Pridnestrovie, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, OSCE, EU and USA, which was held on June 21 in Moscow.

According to the Minister, Head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov opened meeting in Moscow. His introductory speech later became a subject for different speculations in Moldavian media, which made an attempt to misrepresent the position of Moldova and reported, that Lavrov said the things, which he actually did not mention. In particular, they reported, that Russian Foreign Minister condemned the position of the Pridnestrovien side and urged Tiraspol to accept “semiautonomous” status in the republic of Moldova. “There were no newly invented terms like “semiautonomy” in the speech of Russian Foreign Minister,” said Vladimir Yastrebchak. According to him, Sergey Lavrov pointed, that settlement must provide human rights and freedoms according to European standards, and also provide regional stability in common context of European security, guided by will and interests of Moldavian and Pridnestrovien people. The Head of Russian MFA recalled the Joint Statement of Russian, Pridnestrovien and Moldavian authorities, signed in March 2009, according to which, the parties pledged themselves to provide necessary conditions for the resumption of official work in 5+2 format, and also inquired about the view of Kishinev and Tiraspol towards the arrangements, done in this context of the work.

Vladimir Yastrebchak reminded, that the decision about holding the meeting in Moscow was confirmed on April 4, 2011 during the previous round of unofficial consultations in 5+2 format. “At the same time we made an agreement, that we will try to solve most severe problems, existing in the relations between Tiraspol and Kishinev,” PMR's Foreign Minister said. According to his words, the important role in defining the priority directions of work was played by the proposals, prepared by OSCE. The matters of Pridnestrovien foreign-economic activity, the resumption of full-fledged railroad traffic through the PMR, the approval of regulations for expert (working) groups of the sides, etc. are the primary tasks to be completed. “The completion of these tasks would demonstrate, that the sides are ready for constructive dialog, based on mutual respect,” Vladimir Yastrebchak pointed.

According to him, the central moment for discussion during the Moscow meeting was the question of 5+2 format oficialization. In Moscow the Pridnestrovien side presented the analysis of the situation, formed in the relations of the sides by the 21st of June. According to the facts, since April there were no real actions, which would indicate on the availability of Kishinev's real political will towards the solving of the concrete problems. Furthermore, on the number of directions, Moldavian side withdrew from the agreements and arrangements, reached earlier, refusing from the constructive everyday work. Despite the coordination of the project of instructions for expert (working) groups of the sides with the representatives of Kishinev, today the Moldavian side is trying to refuse from some of it's provisions. “Representatives of the Republic of Moldova openly prejudice the principles of equality and coordination of all the decisions, which were regarded as the basic for the activity of the experts. Not only political representatives of the two sides, but OSCE, Russia, Ukraine, EU and USA participated in the coordination of the regulations. Such position of Moldova brings their efforts to nothing,” PMR's Foreign Minister commented the situation. In the whole, as stated by the Pridnestrovien side in Moscow, the latest period witnessed no practical preconditions for the resumption of the official dialog.

However, Tiraspol's points were not duly accepted at the Moscow consultations. “By the beginning of the meeting, there were several drafts of its final document which were offered by different participants. We were ready for the work on the final document and proposed various formulations. But, unfortunately, the possibility for the constructive work was hindered by a fairly tough stance of the majority of the participants who assumed that decision on the resumption of official consultations in the 5+2 format is to be taken right here and right now,” Vladimir Yastrebchak said.

The situation was aggravated by position of Kishinev's representatives who insisted that positions on the necessity of observing sovereignty and territorial integrity of the RM be included in the final document. “There has never been consent with such positions from our side, so, it would be extremely naive to expect that at the Moscow meeting something was going to change. These questions don't go as a topic of neither consultations, nor negotiations for the Pridnestrovien side,” marked head of PMR's MFA.

As a result, an agreed final document in Moscow was not adopted. “At the same time, proceeding from the fact that there were certain expectations from the Moscow meeting, the Pridnestrovien side proposed not to close the Moscow round of consultations but to continue it within agreed period – most likely in September – in order to try and come to concrete decisions before that time,” Vladimir Yastrebchak told. 

Responding to journalists' questions, the Minister specified that there is time and opportunities available for this. Thus, to set an example, experts have already found technical solution of the question of enabling railway communication. There is support of this solution from Russia, Ukraine and the EU. Today's question is the presence of political will on behalf of Kishinev. “This solution is in the interests of not only Pridnestrovie, but Moldova as well, because railway problem restricts possibilities of not only Pridnestrovien enterprises but also of Moldova's economic agents,” remarked Vladimir Yastrebchak. According to him, what is important today is to concentrate efforts on settling practical problems in specific fields rather than “go deep into some theoretical and political issues where the sides, in fact, have no areas of common interest”.

Media representatives wandered if in current situation one can expect reinforcement of pressure measures on Pridnestrovie from Moldova's leadership. Signals from Kishinev on the probability of such developments are already coming from Kishinev. In particular, the possibility of using economic sanctions against Tiraspol was mentioned by head of RM's foreign office Yuriy Leanke in his speech. “Any pressure measures on behalf of Moldova that will be taken in a unilateral way are unlikely to be efficient without international support. In first turn, without Ukraine's support,” said Vladimir Yastrebchak. “I don't think that at this stage Kiev is ready to yet again become involved in foreign venture. Present-day Ukraine's leadership has strong interest in the resumption of formal consultations in the 5+2 format and more pragmatic attitude to country\'s national interests.”

In the opinion of the head of the Pridnestrovien diplomacy, today it's high time for all interested players in the region to admit the existing reality and, proceeding from this, to form their approaches to the situation on the Dniester. “Since the sides adhere to diametrically opposite views of the political settlement model, then it is possible that one simply needs to put off these issues and act based on the assumption that there is the Republic of Moldova and the Pridnestrovien Moldavian Republic – two sides which de-facto recognize existence of each other's territory and jurisdiction,” told Vladimir Yastrebchak. In his words, if such approach prevails over, it will be a lot easier for the sides to work at all levels and solve existing problems. “What is the probability that the situation will develop in such a way?” journalists asked the head of the Pridnestrovien diplomacy. “It all depends on the extent to which our partners are ready to be guided, primarily, by the common sense and interests of the people residing here. I think that our basic partners – first of all, countries-guarantors – realize it,” head of PMR's MFA noted.