Sergey Simonenko: “Pridnestrovien People Are Able to Discern What Is True and What Is False”

Sergey Simonenko: “Pridnestrovien People Are Able to Discern What Is True and What Is False”

On November 24, press-conference, dedicated to pre-election situation in Pridnestrovie and informational interference of external forces was held in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR. Involved in the meeting were Minister of Internal Affairs of the PMR Vadim Krasnoselskiy, Minister of Finance Irina Molokanova, Minister of Information and Telecommunications Vladimir Belyaev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Simonenko, Deputy Chairman of Pridnestrovien Republican Bank Vadim Stepanov, Chairman of Central Electoral Commission Petr Denisenko, secretary of Central Electoral Commission Maria Melnik, Head of Investigative Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs Vasiliy Kushnir, Head of Independent Investigative Department on Investigations of the Criminal Cases of Particular Importance of Public Prosecutor's Office Vadim Kogut, Deputy of Supreme Soviet Andrey Kotsiubenko.

Last week Pridnestrovien delegation, which included the participants of press-conference, made an official visit to Moscow. As reported by Sergey Simonenko, preparation for official consultations in 5+2 format, which will take place in Vilnus on November 30 – December 1, organization of voting on the election to State Duma of the RF, and informing of experts and interested persons in Russia on real situation in the PMR was among the tasks of members of delegation.

Visit was darkened by incident, connected with detention of several members of the delegation, including Sergey Simonenko and Maria Melnik, at Sheremetyevo airport. Representatives of customs organs of Russia, who held PMR's officials for eight hours, subjected them to a complex of measures of personal inspection without any distinct motivation of these actions. Besides, personal computers and technical data carriers were withdrawn from Pridnestrovien representatives. Later equipment was returned. Sergey Simonenko marked that though the actions of staff of customs service met the requirements of law, there were no grounds for such measures in respect of the representatives of Pridnestrovie. Customs officials motivated their actions by instructions of people at the top.

It is not clear yet, whose instructions are performed by such an “independent” Media as Ekho Moskvy radio station. Three members of Pridnestrovien delegation – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak, Vadim Kogut and Vadim Stepanov recorded their interviews in the studio of the radio station. During the interviews they elucidated the number of issues, concerning external policy and internal situation in the republic on the eve of Presidential elections. However, this program finally did not go on the air. Editorial staff did not give any distinct answers on written and oral requests.

On press-conference in PMR's MFA representatives of Central Electoral Commission elucidated topic, connected with usage of unlawful pre-election technologies on Pridnestrovien territory. As reported by the secretary of CEC Maria Melnik, on October 17, one of PMR's Presidential candidates addressed his complaints to Central Electoral Commission. It was ascertained that agitation materials, discrediting his honor and dignity, are spread on the territory of the republic. Brochures and leaflets without output data, containing insulting attacks on candidate. After having passed information to law-enforcement bodies of the PMR, Central Electoral Commission solicited for institution of prosecution in connection with violation of Electoral Code.

Head of Independent Investigative Department on Investigations of the Criminal Cases of Particular Importance of Public Prosecutor's Office Vadim Kogut reported on a certain results of investigation. According to him, it was ascertained, that a group of foreign political technologists arrived in the PMR at the end of summer – the beginning of autumn. The analysis of pre-election setting and spreading of negative information in respect of PMR's Presidential candidates Evgeniy Shevchuk and Igor Smirnov was among their objectives. As reported by Vadim Kogut, this action was ordered by one of Pridnestrovien political parties, and “this work was financed by one of Russian political parties”. As a result of investigative activities, seven persons – citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova – were detained. As it turned out, part of them were earlier involved in information preparation of “coloured revolutions” in Ukraine and Moldova. On October 24, Prosecutor\'s Office initiated criminal case according to two articles – on dissemination of slander and obstruction in implementing electoral rights of citizens. Later, the major part of detainees was released. At the same time, as Vadim Kogut noted, investigative actions in relation to two group leaders are continuing. One of them has already fully admitted his guilt.

Journalists were interested in the situation connected with the use of image of Russia's Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin by candidate to President of the PMR Anatoliy Kaminskiy in his pre-election campaign. Billboards depicting Kaminskiy and Putin together are installed in the towns of the Republic. As Chairman of the Central Election Committee Petr Denisenko reported, Electoral Code of the PMR clearly regulates possibilities for using such techniques. One of the main conditions is consent of a party or a person whose image is employed in the campaign. In connection with this, the Central Election Committee demanded that the Renewal Party led by Anatoliy Kaminskiy should submit documents proving consent of Vladimir Putin and “United Russia” to use their image and symbols in the Pridnestrovien election campaign. No official answer has been received from the Renewal Party so far, Petr Denisenko told.

One more topic raised at the press-conference was the possible theft of Russian humanitarian aid which Pridnestrovie had been receiving in 2008-2009. Investigation conducted by Russia's Investigation Committee on this issue is accompanied by attacks against Oleg Smirnov, the son of the incumbent President. Though investigation has just begun, federal channels allow direct accusations against Oleg Smirnov, charging a theft of 160 million RF rubles upon him. Vadim Stepanov, deputy Chairman of the Pridnestrovien Republican Bank, referred to facts indicative of the transparency and lawfulness of distribution of the Russian aid. Commercial bank “Gazprombank” which was headed by Oleg Smirnov had no relation to the funds of Russia's humanitarian aid.

Vadim Stepanov noted that since 2008 all money has been arriving in accounts of the PMR's Supreme Soviet, and their expenditure has been under “the most severe multi-level control”. Supervision over the proper use of Russian funds is carried out by Accounts Chamber of Pridnestrovie. Moreover, special parliamentary commission was created for the same purposes. Several deputy groups that monitored distribution of money in Pridnestrovie were also created in the State Duma of Russia. As it was noted by deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the PMR Andrey Kotsiubenko, all of them have not detected any violations. In their assessments, Russian deputies more than once pointed out transparency in using humanitarian aid.

Commenting on accusations heard in Russian mass media, deputy head of the PMR's MFA Sergey Simonenko paid attention to their evident political bias. “It is an obvious political job connected with elections. Apart from other objectives, it also seeks to force a wedge between Pridnestrovie and Russia. We will actively counteract such attempts,” Sergey Simonenko told. In his opinion, ordering parties won't be able to achieve their goals. “We are ready to provide real facts as a response to any accusations. Pridnestrovien people are able to discern what is true and what is false, and make their individual choice. Everyone should respect this choice, foreign politicians and experts including,” Deputy Foreign Minister of the PMR told.

He called to mind outcome of the nation-wide referendum of 2006 when an overwhelming number of the Pridnestrovien people voted for independence and free association with Russia. If the similar plebiscite is carried now, the result will be the same, Sergey Simonenko expressed his confidence.

In the course of the press-conference, the participants answered a number of other questions of media representatives.