Nina Shtanski: Nothing is settled while all is not settled

Nina Shtanski: Nothing is settled while all is not settled

On March 5, 2012 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Nina Shtanski held a briefing on the results of the second round of the official consultations in the Permanent Conference format. The head of the Pridnestrovien MFA informed about the course of the meeting and its results and answered the questions of the journalists.

The sides had the task to reach an agreement on the document on the Principles and Procedures for the Conduct of Negotiations of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues as part of their agenda during the meeting in Dublin. As Nina Shtanski said, in near future this document can play an important role in the negotiation process between Pridnestrovie and Moldova. The principles and procedures of further consultations formulated in this document will become basis for shaping clear and coordinated mutually acceptable and mutually responsible form of the negotiations process.

Pridnestrovien side managed to coordinate on the principle of fixing the agreements. All the agreements worked out are subject to signing by the sides, – the Minister explained. She pointed out that this agreement plays an all-important role for Pridnestrovie. According to this principle all the agreements will have legal weight and will carry-out mutual obligations.

Another compromise has been accepted by the sides on the issue of earlier reached agreements. While working out new agreements, the sides are obliged to take into consideration the earlier documents. We can not afford to start negotiations from tabula rasa. Especially because there are several important documents which have already been signed, such as the Moscow Memorandum of the 1997, – the diplomat told. – We also agreed on fulfillment in good faith of all the existing agreements. If the sides come to signing some universal treaty in course of the negotiations, the document on the principles and the procedures obliges them to carry it out.

According to Nina Shtanski, the principle of the equality of the sides appeared to be the most difficult question during the official consultations. In spite of a number of variants of this formula which have been proposed by the OSCE, the Moldovan side flatly refused on the very presence of this condition. The fundamental point of Moldova in this question is an obstacle in the way of all the negotiation process, – the Minister noted.

Pridnestrovie is open to dialog only under the condition of observance of the principle of equality of sides, which the Minister called the mainframe for conducting negotiations. To move further without taking into consideration the necessity of equality of sides during the negotiations and in reaching decisions is not possible, – Nina Shtanski explained. Thus, the head of the Pridnestrovien MFA considers that disregard towards the most important principle, even while taking into consideration the compromises having been reached, allows to say that today nothing is settled while all is not settled. That is why the discussion on the question of equality of sides is postponed till the new meeting in the Permanent Conference format which will take part in Vienna in April. During the dialog with the journalists Nina Shtanski supposed that Moldova will agree with the mutually acceptable formula of the mainframe principle in order to proceed with the constructive and efficient process of settlement.

The Minister informed that Pridnestrovien side has already passed its proposals to the participants of the meeting during this round of consultations. These proposals should form the agenda of the next round. They apply to the synchronization of the work of the expert groups and of the Permanent Conference, to working out the common system of guaranties and to the resumption of full-fledged transport communication.

While estimating the perspectives of the upcoming meeting in April, Nina Shtanski expressed hope that discussion on the proposals of the Pridnestrovien side and the solution of the question of the equality will allow the sides to move forward in solution of questions concerning social-economic sphere. We must settle the questions which does not demand long talks and which have been repeatedly agreed upon earlier, – she explained.

At request of the journalists head of the MFA of the PMR explained the position of the Moldovan side which refused to fix the principle of the equality. As the Minister explained, Moldova regards the recognition of this principle as predetermination of the results of the settlement process. According to Moldovan diplomats, this can be interpreted as status equality. Pridnestrovien side considers this argument to be baseless as the document itself applies only to the organization of the negotiation process. During the dialog the Pridnestrovien side proposed to fix in the general regulations of the document on the principles of equality of the sides the fact that the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie are both considered to be sides in the 5+2 format and all the negotiations will be based upon the principle of equality. But such variant also did not suit Moldova.

The head of the MFA of the PMR stressed that in Dublin the Moldovan side did not present any proposals on any question. Only the proposals of the Pridnestrovien side have been discussed during the consultations.

Touching on the question of resuming the work of the expert groups, Nina Shtanski informed, that Pridnestrovien side passed its proposals on the synchronization of the work of the expert groups with the work of the Permanent Conference. She noted that time has come to intensify their work. Proposals of the Pridnestrovien side, made in Dublin, as Nina Shtanski said, will allow the Permanent Conference to control the work process of the expert groups, to make expertise for the MFA and to formulate the mutually conformed agenda, which means coming closer to solution of more important questions, which concern the life of the people.

As Nina Shtanski informed, in Dublin all the participants of the meeting have been informed that the President of the PMR confirmed the staff of the expert groups. Also Tiraspol's proposition on the formation of three new groups – on education, on customs regulation and on telecommunications and post has been voiced during the meeting. We are planning to resume the work of the groups in mid-March, – Nina Shtanski said.

Answering the question on how Ireland shares its experience in conflict settlement, Nina Shtanski informed that Pridnestrovien side received an offer on the surveys which can be organized in order to help to understand the mechanisms of the settlement in Ireland better. This proposal is under consideration now, – the head of the MFA of the Republic concluded.

More questions, concerning Moldo-Pridnestrovien relations settlement, have been touched upon during the meeting with the journalists.