Pridnestrovie and Moldova’s Political Representatives meet in Kishinev


Representatives on political issues from the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie Vitaly Ignatiev and Victor Osipov held a meeting at the office of the OSCE Mission in Kishinev.

The central issue of discussion was freedom of movement, in particular, Moldova’s ban unilaterally introduced on the movement of vehicles with Pridnestrovian registration across the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. Pridnestrovie’s political representative emphasized again the need to resolve the problem within a very short time, as the ban restricted the rights of not only a significant number of car owners, but also the interests of the transport companies of Pridnestrovie, which suffered serious losses.

Speaking to the media during a briefing after the meeting Vitaly Ignatiev noted that there were mechanisms for the resolution of the “vehicle problem”, and they depended essentially on Moldovan representatives’ political will.

“Mr. Osipov has said that there is a return to the legal acts, which were adopted by Moldova in 2009, and then they were temporarily abolished, and that abolishment had been lasted for almost 5 years. It is noteworthy that Mr. Osipov, who was a political representative at that time as well, initiated the abolition of the restriction against the Pridnestrovian vehicles. It is therefore logical that Mr. Osipov again took the initiative to remove similar restrictive actions,”- said the diplomat.

 Vitaly Ignatiev also said that the Moldovan side declared its readiness to work in that direction, but so far it did not provide a specific mechanism for removing the new restrictions. In that regard, Pridnestrovie’s political representative said that the Pridnestrovian side (note: the ban was introduced on August 24) had not been taking response actions for a month, expecting the Moldovan colleagues would be able to “correct the mistakes.”

“Pridnestrovie has called on to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, because we are not interested in taking any response measures that could further push the situation into complications. Unfortunately, the nature of the reaction of the Moldovan side to this issue does not give us hope for a speedy resolution of the problem,”- he said.

According to Pridnestrovie’s political representative, during the meeting the Moldovan side made an attempt to divert the discussion on the issue of motor vehicles to the sphere of freedom of movement in the Security Zone. In that regard, the Pridnestrovian side urged Moldovan colleagues not to raise issues outside the competence of the representatives on political issues and not to complicate the bilateral dialogue by such actions. “As is known, the regime and mechanism of freedom of movement in the Security Zone are regulated by specific agreements, there is a special international negotiating format - the Joint Control Commission, on the agenda of which the issue of freedom of movement is just the first issue. It is necessary to provide an opportunity for the experts who are competent in this field come to the solution of other issues on their own,”- said Vitaly Ignatiev.

However, the parties have reached agreement on holding the next meeting of expert (working) groups on the development of transport and road facilities, specially dedicated to the discussion of this issue. It is expected that the meeting will take place next week.

We remind that earlier the Moldovan side has avoided organizing such a meeting without explanation.

The subject of today’s meeting was also issues about politically motivated prosecutions of Pridnestrovian citizens. According to Vitaly Ignatiev, Pridnestrovie has once again reiterated the principled position on the need for an early meeting of experts on the termination of the criminal cases, which would clear up certain aspects in this area.

“Unfortunately, the Moldovan side still finds it difficult to inform us how many Pridnestrovian citizens who are under criminal prosecution in Moldova there are exactly. Mr. Osipov has not been prepared to provide this information to us, although earlier, I remind you, this kind of information exchange already was held as part of implementation of Protocol decision in 2013 (note: The minutes of 17 September 2013),”- reminded the diplomat.

 In the context of criminal cases the meeting discussed in detail the situation with the arrest of the Pridnestrovian militiaman Maksim Kuzmichev in the Hellenic Republic. According to Vitaly Ignatiev, the Moldovan side tried to inform Pridnestrovie on the current situation on the matter, but the specific results of the work to solve the problem were not provided. However, during the meeting Victor Osipov voiced that the Moldovan side was taking all possible steps to extradite the Pridnestrovian law enforcement officer from Greece.

During the meeting, representatives on political issues also discussed the problems of deportation from the airport of Kishinev of citizens residing in Pridnestrovie, however, as Vitaly Ignatiev said, Moldova’s representatives did not take a constructive position on the issue.

“The Moldovan side has found it difficult to provide the mechanism of cancellation of these restrictions against citizens of Pridnestrovie, advising to be guided by the laws of the Republic of Moldova. In our opinion, it is the political representatives that take the responsibility for ensuring the rights and interests of citizens, for resolving the operational problematic issues that arise as part of the settlement, and this kind of keeping aloof and attempt to “hide behind” the laws of the Republic of Moldova are counterproductive,”- the diplomat said.

 “There are specific destinies of people even behind the few cases which are in the concrete aspects of deportation problem what the Moldovan side points out. The issue is about people who have been separated from their families while away from permanent residence, who cannot provide for themselves financially. We count on the understanding of the Moldovan side,” - said Vitaly Ignatiev.