Head of PMR’s MFA: Meeting in Vilnius Has Demonstrated True Positions of All Participants of the 5+2 Format

Head of PMR’s MFA: Meeting in Vilnius Has Demonstrated True Positions of All Participants of the 5+2 Format

Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak held the briefing for journalists of the Pridnestrovien and Russian mass media devoted to the results of the first round of official work of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues in the framework of the Pridnestrovien Settlement Negotiation Process which took place in Vilnius on November 30 – December 1, 2011.

Vladimir Yastrebchak noted that it had been the first official meeting in the 5+2 format after more than a 5-year long interruption. The Minister underlined that the given forum is the broadest international format in which the work on settlement of relations between Kishinev and Tiraspol is conducted. At the same time, the diplomat invited not to overestimate the meaning of this format. “Its aim is solely to work out draft of documents, no politically or legally binding decisions are taken in the framework of this format,” told Vladimir Yastrebchak. 

As the head of the Pridnestrovien diplomacy told, the question of discussion of operating principles of the Permanent Conference and those procedures that could become its basis and allow avoiding break-downs in future work had been raised in Vilnius. However, regardless apparent simplicity of the considered issues, discussions were difficult. In particular, participants couldn't arrive at an understanding on issues related to equality of the sides. “Our Moldovan colleagues refused to fix this principle in any provisions and formulations,” stated Vladimir Yastrebchak.

Commenting on this position of the official Chisinau to journalists, the Minister marked that the categorical manner in which the Moldovan side rejects the principle of equality of the sides had been quite unexpected for him. “Moldovan side avoids even legal and formal fixing of the principle which, according to other participants of the format, is classical in any negotiations,” stated Vladimir Yastrebchak. At the same time, he noted that equality of the sides is fixed in previous documents of the negotiation process, and it is clearly traced when signing any bilateral documents and protocols. Thus, the Joint Statement by Presidents Voronin and Smirnov from April 9, 2001 was signed by “leaders” of Moldova and Pridnestrovie. “Even in such naming the principle of equality is laid down,” Vladimir Yastrebchak told.

No consensus was reached regarding other items on the agenda. Issues related to how results of each official round should be fixed remained unsolved. In view of the Pridnestrovien side, results of each meeting should be fixed. However, some participants of the format have another opinion on this issue. Significant disagreements appeared also in the question of how to fix the principles and procedures of execution of earlier reached agreements. The work on these issues will be continued in the course of the next round which is expected to take place at the end of February in Dublin.

Despite the fact that most issues remained unsolved, the Minister estimates outcome of the Vilnius summit as positive. “The course of discussions made it possible to display true position of every single participant. I was glad to see that except for the colleagues from Kishinev no one else had objections to equality of the sides,” he told. “We have good prerequisites for settling the remaining problems on mutually acceptable constructive basis and defining issues which are going to be discussed in future as early as at the next meeting.”

In his response to journalists' questions, Vladimir Yastrebchak noted that Irish Chairmanship of the OSCE, which is making preparations for accepting authorities from Lithuania, has definite optimism regarding prospects of its work. Our Irish colleagues took the problem of guarantees very seriously, and during conference on confidence measures in Bad Reichenhall it were Irish colleagues who devoted plenty of time to study the problem of guarantees in different negotiation processes. This problematics is expected to become one of the basic issues on the agenda of Irish Chairmanship.

Vladimir Yastrebchak also paid attention of journalists to the Summit of OSCE Foreign Ministers which took place on December 6-7, in Vilnius. The possibility of adopting Joint Declaration on the Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement was not excluded at this summit. However, this didn't happen because of the position of the Russian Federation which was represented there by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov. Expanding Russia's position, Vladimir Yastrebchak marked that Russian diplomats paid attention to the fact that Pridnestrovien side is not involved in discussions and adoption of this declaration which means violation of the principle of equality. “Absence of a particular declaration on the Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement is a worthy confirmation of a responsible constructive position of the Russian Federation in the Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement,” head of the Pridnestrovien diplomacy stated.

Upon journalists' request, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR commented on his recent statement connected with Moscow's reaction to the deployment of American missile defenses in Europe. It reads Tiraspol's readiness to support Russia in its actions aimed at protection of Russia's security, in particular, to provide its own infrastructure for this. “I want to specify – we didn't make any proposals to the Russian side,” told Vladimir Yastrebchak. “We proceed from the fact that interest should be shown by Moscow. Therefore, we declared our readiness to render maximum assistance in case there is a corresponding initiative from Russia.” According to the Minister, Tiraspol paid attention to the commentary by official representative of Russian MFA Alexander Lukashevich who said that Russian side will find the possibility to respond to the statements voiced by the Pridnestrovien side. “We will be waiting for such response,” Vladimir Yastrebchak told.

He also commented on the statement by Moldova's vice prime-minister Yuriy Leanke who at an annual summit of ministers of foreign affairs of OSCE participating states, which took place on December 6-7, in Vilnius, again demanded that Russia should withdraw its troops from Pridnestrovie. “There was nothing new for us in the Moldovan position,” head of the PMR's MFA marked. At the same time, as he told, such position and demands of Kishinev that Russia should comply with CFE Treaty look strange enough against practical deeds of the Moldovan leadership and its allies. As Vladimir Yastrebchak noted, shortly before the statement by Yuriy Leanke, both USA and Moldova virtually withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. “That's why it would not hurt our Moldovan colleagues to measure their real actions with those great statements which they make with enviable persistency,” the Minister told.

Journalists were also interested in whether outcome of the forthcoming presidential elections in Russia can influence situation in Pridnestrovie. “Speaking about possible results of any elections it is necessary to keep in mind that it's all up to voters,” Vladimir Yastrebchak told. “However, if we assume that the most predictable outcome of elections turns out to be true, then we will expect the main thing. And this main thing is reinforcement of centripetal tendencies in the post-Soviet space.” According to Vladimir Yastrebchak, in Tiraspol one primarily counts upon practical implementation of the idea of Euroasian Union which was voiced by RF Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin in the article published in Izvestiya Newspaper. “We are ready to be to the utmost actively involved in such processes in Euroasian space where Russian Federation will have a key role,” Vladimir Yastrebchak stated.

 Upon journalists' request, the head of the Pridnestrovien diplomacy gave assessment of the critical television material about Pridnestrovie which was aired on NTV Russian channel. “It is an attempt to model something out of nothing,” Vladimir Yastrebchak told. “That, mildly speaking, seamy side which appears in this material doesn't increase confidence in one of the federal channels. I don't understand who they think the Pridnestroviens are when they say, for instance, that Lebed brought the Fourteenth Army in Pridnestrovie. Actually, it had been located here long before Lebed. If there are attempts to delude people even in such details, not to mention more significant issues, then assessment of such film from moral point of view is obvious. If we speak about legal dimension – then, I believe there are all grounds for reaction on the part of those people who one way or another were mentioned in this film.”

In the course of the briefing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR answered also other questions of media representatives.