Central Bank of the PMR: “The Republic of Moldova’s Accusations of Pridnestrovian Banks are either Defamation or Criminal Participation”

Central Bank of the PMR: “The Republic of Moldova’s Accusations of Pridnestrovian Banks are either Defamation or Criminal Participation”
Central Bank of the PMR: “The Republic of Moldova’s Accusations of Pridnestrovian Banks are either Defamation or Criminal Participation”

Today press-conference “International Settlements with Participation of Banks of the PMR and Measures to Combat Criminal Money Laundering” took place in the Pridnestrovian Republican Bank for representatives of Pridnestrovian and foreign mass media. Head of the PMR's Republican Bank Eduard Kosovsky and his deputies – Alyona Shulga and Vadim Stepanov –answered the questions of journalists.

This press-conference became an answer of the bank's leadership on the long-lasting campaign of destabilization of Pridnestrovian banking sphere and the Republic's economic system. Discriminative measures include closing of correspondent accounts of Pridnestrovian banks abroad and accusations made by Moldova's officials which deal with transparency of Pridnestrovie's banking sector.

As it was reported earlier, problems of functioning of Pridnestrovian banking sector were discussed during the meeting of the Permanent Conference in Vienna in September 2012. Representatives of Pridnestrovie expressed concerns with facts of refusals to serve Pridnestrovian correspondent accounts by a number of banks of the USA. According to Pridnestrovian side these actions created obstacles for Pridnestrovian banks in conducting international financial operations.

Today, while addressing the journalists, Head of the Pridnestrovian Central Bank officially confirmed the fact of blocking financial operations of Pridnestrovian banks through the Russian correspondent accounts by the banks of the USA and the European Union since November 1, 2012. Eduard Kosovsky reminded that according to the Memorandum on Bases of Normalization of Relations Between the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie signed on May 8, 1997 in Moscow, Pridnestrovie has right to establish and maintain international contacts in economic sphere. Thus the obstacles created for Pridnestrovian banks can be considered to be direct violation of provisions of one of the fundamental documents of the negotiations process.

Eduard Kosovsky also stated that Pridnestrovie has never abandoned cooperation with the National Bank of Moldova. According to him recently Pridnestrovian Republican Bank proposed its Moldovan partner cooperation in combating money laundering, but this proposal met incomprehension of Moldovan colleagues. “If the sides are not able to reach compromise Pridnestrovie will have to search for other ways of overcoming current crisis”, – he noted.

Along with financial pressure on Pridnestrovie the Republic of Moldova makes attempts to disturb confidence in banking sector of Pridnestrovie by so-called stove-piping.

Earlier, in October of 2012, statement of deputy director of the SIS of Moldova was spread in number of Moldova's mass media on “money laundering through the banking sector of Pridnestrovie”. This statement was made by Moldova's official on the eve of working consultations of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and Moldova Nina Shtanski and Yevgeny Karpov in the office of the OSCE Mission in Kishinev on October 12, 2012. It brought immediate reaction of the press-service of the PMR's KGB and of the PMR's Central Bank. On October 12, 2012 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Nina Shtanski commented statement of the official of Moldova's special services and proposed Moldovan side to share “monstrous facts of criminal activity” of Pridnestrovie in banking sector but received no answer. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR also issued official comment in which claims made by one of the heads of the Moldova's SIS were considered as “provocative, destructive and not corresponding to the spirit of constructiveness and ethics”.

“Up to now we did not receive any confirmations of even a single fact of criminal activity of Pridnestrovian banks”, – said during today's press-conference Alyona Shulga while commenting false accusations of Moldova's officials. “If Moldovan side is trying to hide these facts, than it is criminal participation. If there are no facts – than it is defamation, an attempted disruption of stability of our banking sector and our business reputation”, – she pointed out. According to deputy head of the Pridnestrovian Republican Bank, “international experience has no examples of imposing sanctions against banks without conducting procedures of monitoring”.

During the briefing the leadership of the Pridnestrovian Republican Bank voiced the idea to conduct financial monitoring of bank's activity by representatives of all participants of the negotiations process. This initiative is expected to be studied in the subgroup on banking issues in framework of the certain expert group of the negotiations process. As Alyona Shulga noticed, financial monitoring can be objective only when Pridnestrovian banking sector is unblocked. “EUBAM conducts monitoring of customs activity and found nothing illegal. We are ready to any international monitoring, no matter how long it will be, even to permanent one if it is needed”, – she added.

According to representatives of the Pridnestrovian Republican Bank, signing of Memorandum on mutual understanding between central banks of Pridnestrovie and Moldova in basis of which lies principles of cooperation in financial monitoring and supervision of the banking sector, can be the way out of crisis situation. As representatives of the Pridnestrovian Central Bank informed the journalists, this document is also to be studied by Moldovan side in the framework of subgroup on banking issues. At the same time, as leadership of the Pridnestrovian Republican Bank noted, system of combating money laundering is already functioning in the PMR. It is based on international standards and demands of the Financial Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). Pridnestrovian Central Bank is already maintaining control of operations by all participants of a system of finance in order to intercept and stop operations with elements of illegal money laundering and informing law-enforcement agencies of the Republic.