Nina Shtanski answered the Questions of the Novyi Region Readers

Nina Shtanski answered the Questions of the Novyi Region Readers

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Nina Shtanski held virtual press-conference for readers of Russian information agency Novyi Region. During the week head of foreign ministry of Pridnestrovie answered on 50 different questions. Nina Shtanski thanked editors of the agency for opportunity to interactively communicate wide audience and expressed her opinion on the progressiveness and usefulness of new formats of intercommunication carried out by Novyi Region. Most of readers were interested in actual issues of foreign policy of Pridnestrovie.

Answering the question on the intentions of Pridnestrovie to request for application to enter Dniester Euroregion and on the extent of participation of Kamenka and Rybnitsa regions in this project, Nina Shtanski noticed that Pridnestrovie did not sign the agreement on creation of Dniester Euroregion and thus two Pridnestrovian regions just could not become participants of this project. At the same time, as Minister mentioned, interaction in framework of Euroregion implies close economic and humanitarian cooperation of transboundary territories. “Kamenka and Rybnitsa regions of the PMR expressed their readiness to cooperate in these directions with Dniester Euroregion and to involve it into individual projects while pursuing only said objects without politicizing the format of cooperation. Such intention of boundary regions of Pridnestrovie is logical and, to my belief, is useful in context of developing good-neighbor policy which was accentuated by the President in his inauguration speech and then in his Address to State Public and Governmental Authorities. In my opinion, our regions could become direct participants of the project only in case when Pridnestrovie would become equal partner in the project and all it agreements”, ­– Pridnestrovian diplomat stressed out. She also informed that experience of cooperation in framework of Euroregions is quite rich and extensive and it can serve as a source of finding acceptable and useful form of cooperation of transboundary territories.

Touching upon the issue of securing women's rights in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic and on the possibilities of the PMR's MFA to protect rights of its citizens abroad, Nina Shtanski informed that Pridnestrovie implemented fundamental international norms and principles in field of protection of human rights, including protection of women's and children's rights, into its legal framework. Pridnestrovie confirmed its adherence to fundamental international principles and obligatory character of international agreements by implementation of such acts as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and protocols to these documents; The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; The Convention on the Rights of the Child; The International Declaration On securing the Rights of the Child to Live, Survival and Development and others.

Minister noted that unsettled character of Pridnestrovian-Moldovan relations and the social and economic difficulties resulting from this do not allow the Republic to develop as dynamic as modern-day realities demand it. This situation complicates conditions of Pridnestrovians who had to leave the country to work abroad. These very factors, according to her, do not allow to develop appropriate institutes for legal protection of Pridnestrovian citizens abroad. “By strengthening international relations and by developing cooperation with international actors in different fields we are trying to improve our abilities to support Pridnestrovians abroad”, – Nina Shtanski stated.

A number of questions dealt with the issues of possibility of formation of federation between Pridnestrovie and Moldova and on the Romanian factor in Moldo-Pridnestrovian settlement. Nina Shtanski stressed that official Tiraspol does not conduct any negotiations with Moldova on any forms of federation. She also excluded possibility of seizure of Bendery in case of Moldova's joining with Romania. “I do not assume such scenario to be possible because it assumes possibility of ignoring the will of people, living in Pridnestrovie, and, thus, it assumes violence. It is absolutely inadmissible. I also exclude the situation when any foreign actor would define its boundaries on Pridnestrovian territory – in the Security Zone where peace and stability are maintained and guaranteed by the presence of Peacekeeping operation under the Russian aegis”, – Minister said. She paid the readers attention to the fact of escalation of expansionist sentiments in Romania. “Recent statements of the Romanian leaders on the non-existence of Moldovan nation, to my mind, are a serious signal”, – Nina Shtanski said. Answering the question on the advantageous character of such situation for Pridnestrovie, she noticed that situation in Moldova is sometimes balancing on the edge of serious escalation on the field of Romanian-Moldovan disagreements. “It can not be advantageous for anyone, because political crises often have lasting negative consequences which sometimes affect neighbors”, – Minister pointed out. Summarizing the issue of “Joint State” Nina Shtanski noticed that Pridnestrovie is a State which proved its consistency and managed to achieve a lot in conditions of political unsettlement, lack of international recognition and very difficult social and economic problems. The will of the Pridnestrovian people was expressed during referendums which were held not once. The results of these referendums and especially the result of the referendum of 2006 are the answer to this question”.

Readers were interested in reasons why Tiraspol uses the tactics of “small steps”: isn't this tactics connected with the fact that it is impossible for Kishinev and Tiraspol to carry out political dialogue (owing to the outcomes of nationwide Referendum held in Pridnestrovie of September, 17, 2006 and to the law of the RM from July 22, 2005)? Nina Shtanski noticed, that the process of settlement is not identical with the resolution of the conflict and solving of any kind of status problems. “The welfare of the people, their possibilities to move freely, to receive education, to overcome poverty, to develop business, etc, to a large extent depends on the normalization of Pridnestrovie-Moldova relations. I am sure, that the agenda of negotiations agreed in Vienna, will allow us to concentrate upon the search of decisions on given directions, and that will, undoubtedly, broaden the atmosphere of confidence and will favor the development of good-neighborly relations,” Minister explained.

This course, according to Nina Shtanski, received broad social support. In particular, Pridnestrovians positively treated the decision on simplifying of procedure of crossing of the PMR's national boundary. They also expect the simplification of regime of crossing of border with Ukraine. “The present issue is being constantly raised in communication with the Ukrainian side and on the level of the meetings of the Head of our Republic, and on the level of the MFA. Our Ukrainian colleagues understand, that the existing situation does not satisfy needs of the population of the frontier regions in movement through the border. Unfortunately not all of tens of check points on Ukraine-Pridnestrovie border are working. Besides, only less than ten of these check points - international and interstate – are automobile. As far as I know, more that ten local check points, including those situated in Rybnitsa and Kamenka regions, are closed. We regularly inform the Ukrainian side on the appeals of Pridnestrovian citizens, expressing their concern on the existing situation. We hope, that the construction and reconstruction of the check points (which, according to our information, has already begun on several areas) will allow to take into consideration the present appeals,” Nina Shtanski explained. She also reported, that the leadership of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic leads active dialogue with the Ukrainian side on the opening of additional international check points in order to decrease the load of basic routes during summertime.

Many Pridnestrovians connect their special expectations with the solution of the problem of opening of a Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Tiraspol and consular offices in other cities of the Republic. Answering these questions, Nina Shtanski emphasized, that, during the recent visit of Special Representative of the President of the RF on Pridnestrovie Dmitry Rogozin, the issue on opening of consulate in Tiraspol was raised on high level during the meeting with Yevgeny Shevchuk and during the meeting with Vlad Filat. “I know, that active consultations are being held within the framework of Russia-Moldova dialogue, and I hope, that the Consulate will be opened soon. It will unconditionally facilitate the position of Russian citizens living in Pridnestrovie and will probably allow to work out mechanisms of consular service for residents of Rybnitsa and other cities,” she said.

 “What kind of future representatives of Ukraine and Russia see for Pridnestrovie?”- many readers were interested in this question. In her answer Nina Shtanski emphasized, that there are many Ukrainian and Russian citizens living in Pridnestrovie; that is why these countries are interested in protection of rights and interests of their fellow countrymen. “Both Kiev and Moscow are convinced that the future of Pridnestrovie lies in peace, stability and high extent of legal security for all the people living here,” she reported.

“In what way Pridnestrovian foreign office promotes the interests of big enterprises of the Republic; what impedes normal economical development of the State?” – this topic is one of the most burning issues for Pridnestrovian diplomats. Nina Shtanski told, that Pridnestrovian enterprises have been operating on international markets since 1990s rather actively. During certain periods share of export to far abroad countries exceeded 60% from the whole volume of goods produced in Pridnestrovie. “We faced the most large-scale problems with foreign economic activity after the introduction of new customs rules of crossing of Moldavian and Ukrainian borders in 2006. Complicated economical situation of Pridnestrovian enterprises is caused, among the other things, by given aspects, which are active up till now. She also reported, that certain negative influence upon such groups of goods as metal and textile, the goods produced by the biggest Pridnestrovian enterprises, is exerted by price conjuncture in the world. According to her, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR works in direction of creation of comfort conditions for the implementation of active foreign economic work by Pridnestrovian producers. “In this connection the resumption of full-scale freight railway connection in Pridnestrovie, which recently took place in Rybnitsa, is being considered by us as an important factor which promote the growth of investment attractiveness of Pridnestrovie. We consider, that it will not only help to increase the production volumes of big enterprises, but also will open new possibilities for middle and small business. Besides, the opening of international railway transit through Pridnestrovie must also have a positive influence over socio-economical situation of our State,” she said.

Relations of Pridnestrovie and Ukraine were also in focus of attention of the readers of Novyi Region. Many were in particular interested in the probability of Pridnestrovian citizens' participation in this year's elections of Verkhovna Rada deputies of Ukraine. Nina Shtanski did not exclude the possibility of opening Ukrainian polling stations on the territory of the PMR. “The question of opening polling stations outside the state territory is competence of the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic representations under its jurisdiction, in this case of Ukraine. If relevant authorized bodies of Ukraine made the decision to open polling stations in Pridnestrovie, I have no doubt that Republic's leadership would give appropriate instructions to government authorities of Pridnestrovie, and we would render all-round assistance to organize elections. Pridnestrovie has accumulated enough experience”, she stated.

The most substantial questions related to the functioning of the 5+2 format. Agenda of negotiations was approved in the course of this April's consultations in Vienna. This caused interest of readers in the nearest perspectives of the settlement: whether “status” issues will be raised or transformation of the peacekeeping operation format will be touched upon within the Permanent Conference, whether the Pridnestrovian side is ready to present its counter-arguments in this case.

Responding to this block of questions, Nina Shtanski explained that in Vienna in the framework of an agreed agenda of further negotiations the first “basket” of socio-economic issues was examined in detail. This was characterized by the Minister as an important achievement of past round of talks, since all participants of the negotiating format were united in that the solution of socio-economic problems should be a priority. Also, issues of the second “basket” connected with humanitarian dimension were specified. “There is a common understanding between the participants of the process that the work will be carried out starting, as it was planned with the first basket in conjunction with key issues of the second basket. In its framework, an agreement was reached that the OSCE Mission based on recommendations of the sides and guarantor countries will carry out analysis of existing agreements between the sides in order to restart them and solve existing problems on their basis. We strongly believe that working out new documents without reliance on existing package of previously signed documents is extremely unwise,” the diplomat told. “As regards the third “basket”, here our position was that at the given stage it is premature to outline in detail issues to be discussed in its framework. It is progress on the first two “baskets” – and it is a long laborious work on resolution of accumulated problems – that will open up the possibility for discussion of these issues. In any event, these issues will touch upon neither current peacekeeping operation, nor military aspects, nor any such matters which some participants would probably like to see in this agenda. The majority of participants have clear understanding and further vision of this work,” Nina Shtanski told.

The Minister also told that the Pridnestrovian side comes to each round of consultations with a range of its own proposals and drafts.  “It is extremely important for us that these proposals meet approval. This was the case when we proposed the analysis of earlier signed documents which was not continued in 2011”, the diplomat told. In her words, before the next round the sides have to solve a whole number of issues which were first of all defined by top leadership of Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova during bilateral negotiations. What is meant here is the resumption of a full-scale cargo, inter alia, transit communication by motor transport, settlement of issues in the sphere of communication, healthcare and others. The Minister expressed hope for the next round of the Permanent Conference in Vienna to be held in no less constructive atmosphere than the previous ones.

Responding to the question on the status of consultations in the 5+2 format and status of its participants, the Head of foreign office of Pridnestrovie stressed that the status of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues in the Framework of the Pridnestrovian Settlement Negotiation Process is defined by documents of the negotiation process, and its principles and procedures were fixed at the previous meetings in Dublin and Vienna. “It is an important international negotiating forum, and the Pridnestrovian side does not belittle its role,” the Minister stressed. She marked that status of all participants is also clearly defined. “The question is exhausted at the given stage, though, certainly, there will always be those who would wish to speculate,” she told. Nina Shtanski pointed out that negotiation process has a number of institutions and levels and each of them discusses and solves issues which are in the framework of its competence. “There is a bilateral negotiation process between Moldova and Pridnestrovie, there is a Permanent Conference, and there is a Joint Control Commission. No one has powers to lower or raise status of these negotiation mechanisms in a unilateral way”, she explained.

The diplomat answered other questions as well. The full version of the web-conference of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Nina Shtanski is available at