Interview of acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR VitalyIgnatiev to the representatives of state media of Pridnestrovie (II part)


Part 2

Vitaly Viktorovich, will the approaches of the Pridnestrovian side in the negotiation process on the settlement of Moldova-Pridnestrovie relations change in connection with the appointment of new political representative?

I suppose, this issue is in particular actual for our Moldovan colleagues, who may create some illusions, that situation may change with the change of certain politicians, diplomats and officials. For example, within the framework of negotiation process on different grounds we often witnessed the situations when Moldovan representative was not informed of the decisions made by the predecessors and tried to avoid responsibility for the signatures appended before him. I would like to assure, that aims and objectives of external policy, its’ priorities which include the settlement of Moldova-Pridnestrovie relations, remain unchangeable and cannot be changed – they are based on the will of people. Therefore, Pridnestrovian political representative will perform the same functions and objectives, that were fixed earlier.

I would also like to note, that we have formed negotiation team, which has been acting over a number of years and will continue its’ work. As is known, Pridnestrovian diplomacy is remarkable for its’ responsibility and consistency. The implementation of foreign-policy course is marked by the principles of continuity. To my mind, it is the strong point of Pridnestrovie, which will undoubtedly be preserved.

The activity of the Foreign Ministry is not limited with the negotiations. Which directions of activity of Your office do You intend to develop?

I would like to mention one legal act – the Concept of Foreign Policy of Pridnestrovie. Wewillimplementits’ strategicpriorities: withintheframeworkofnegotiationprocesswiththeRepublicofMoldova, oftheEurasianintegrationofPridnestrovieandmaximal rapprochement and development of relations with the Russian Federation. During the last several years we managed to create firm legal basis for the development of relations with the Russian Federation in the context of further development of the Protocol signed by Dmitry Rogozin and the President of the PMR Evgeny Shevchuk. More than 15 international agreements were signed; they create very good basis for sector development of communication with the Russian side on a whole number of problems in the sphere of economy, healthcare, education, in social sphere. We continue to fill this activity with concrete content.

The Russian Federation plays very important role in the life of Pridnestrovie; the development of relations with Russia remains the strategic priority for us, in spite of creation of certain difficulties with communication with the Russian side that appears due to the reasons, which do not depend on us, due to the problems and to the crisis in Ukraine. We will also develop interaction with the Ukrainian side. As far as we are aware, the new Ambassador of Ukraine in the Republic of Moldova will soon take up his duties. We are in contact with Embassy of Ukraine, and, I think, that special representative in the negotiation process will be appointed soon.

As you all know, this year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of independence; despite several “circles of hell” at the Chisinau airport our friends from fraternal republics: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh, managed to come. These difficulties made us even closer. Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have their own dynamics of development, their own problems; but we have common ideals, values and understanding of justice. There are also concrete political and diplomatic agreements – we will develop them to the maximum degree.

Allpositions,reflectedinthe Concept of the Foreign Policy, will be implemented. Ofcourse, Pridnestroviandiplomacyreckonsonunderstandingandsupportonthepartofmedia, ofcivilsocietyofPridnestrovie, of our people. Onlysupportofsuchkindandthe synergy of efforts will afford us to reach the goals.

An addition to this question.Is there any progress in the direction of including of Pridnestrovian enterprises in the program of import substitution in Russia? The representatives of “Rossotrudnichestvo” promised to render any possible assistance; did anything change?

Icannottalkonbehalfoftherepresentatives of “Rossotrudnichestvo”. Icansay,thatweworkoverthisissueon diplomatic line, on the level of certain authorities – Ministry of Economic Development, on the line of vice-premier of Pridnestrovie, who works on economic problems. Owing to objective reasons not all technical aspects are available to the public; but the achieved results will have positive meaning.

Next year the OSCE will have the new Chairman. The Chairmanship will be taken by Germany – very strong international player. What is Your opinion – will it affect the negotiation process between Moldova and Pridnestrovie positively?

We await from the German Chairmanship it the OSCE balanced, rational, just and objective position in the negotiation process. We hope, that it will give positive impact to the dialogue, use necessary instruments in order not to change the core of negotiation process, to prevent it from turning into any kind of dialogue platform, which leaves full-scale blockade, pressure and limitations in respect of one of the negotiation partners outside its’ borders.

We also suppose, that the paradigm of the activity of the OSCE in the negotiation process will be adjusted to some extent. Each Chairmanship of the OSCE has its’ own vision of the priority of solving of this problem. I think, it is time to switch from some kind of “powered observation” in the process, from ascertaining of problems, to actions, which would assist to solve the most acute problems; all the more our international partners have all the necessary resources and instruments.

VitalyViktorovich, You are not only a diplomat, but also a member of Joint Control Commission. Tellusaboutcurrentsituationwithinthisbody, governing the peacekeeping operation. AretheattemptsoftheMoldovansidetoreformtheoperationstillinsistent?

Unfortunately, approaches of our Moldovan partners towards the peacekeeping operation do not change a great deal. Theproblemsarewell-known: long-term absence of normal activity according to agenda, blocking of the activity of the JCC.During considerable period of time the Moldovan side blocks the decision-making on the issue of the freedom of movement, which it understands and interprets differently. Along with this complex restrictive measures in respect of Pridnestrovian citizens, which violate mentioned right on freedom of movement, are taken.

JointControlCommissionisaninternationalgroundwhichrunsthepeacekeepingoperationandmanages the processes of provision of peace, security and stability. There are attempts to somehow politicize the peacekeeping format, to change its’ meaning. Pridnestrovie declares firmly and unambiguously that we find issues connected with changing of format, of contractual legal framework of the peacekeeping operation, inadmissible.

InspiringproblemsintheSecurityZone, holdingexercisesintheSecurityZonewiththeparticipationofmilitaryunitsandNATOcountries, unitsofNational Guard of the United States of America, the Moldovan side declares the necessity of transforming of the peacekeeping operation into some kind of observation mission. We suppose, it has nothing in common with the real goal, connected with the provision of peace and stability. Wesupposethatthepeacekeepingoperationisefficient: duringtheyearsannualquantityofincidentswithintheSecurityZoneincreases, but, nevertheless, situationisalwaysundercontrol; thisshows, thatthemechanism, createdin 1992, istruly functional.

VitalyViktorovich, You have already touched upon the topic of the presence of NATO forces in the region. During these days regular exercises, to my mind called Fire Shield, are being held at the Bulboka firing ground, right beside the Security Zone. What do you think, which security risks does the presence of NATO forces arouse?

Any presence of armed forces, which are not controlled by the peacekeeping operation, is the factor of military risk and requires efficient decision-making on the level of joint staff and military command. There are no units of the third parties which have the right to stay on the territory of the Security Zone.

Therearemilitary-politicalandsocio-informationalcosts-militaryleadershipoftheRepublicofMoldovaexpressively declares the presence of certain threats from the side of Pridnestrovie and the peacekeeping operation. By the way, some weeks ago Pridnestrovian delegation of the Joint Control Commission addressed the Moldovan side with a request to give exhaustive explanation to all the theses, voiced by Mr. Shalaru; these declarations run counter to the agreements, existing within the framework of the peacekeeping operation.

Unfortunately, such actions are not limited onlyby declarations; the Moldovan side actively makes some demonstrative manipulations near the Security Zone. It cannot fail to arouse anxiety. Such kind of military activity is particularly cynical against a background of the declarations about the creation of the security threat for Moldova by Pridnestrovian military parade. We understand, that there is something wrong with the logic of our Moldovan partners, but, one can understand them from the point of view of political interests. Luckily, the peacekeeping operation is supported not only by the agreements, but also by people, who live on the banks of the Dniester. Both Pridnestrovian and Moldovan population treat peacekeepers positively – this is powerful guarantee of the stability and effectiveness of the peacekeeping operation.

Thank you for conversation!