Kishinev hosted the meeting of political representatives from Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova


​Today, Kishinev OSCE office hosted the meeting of political representatives of Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova Vitaly Ignatiev and Gheorghe Balan for the first time in the last five months.

During the conversation the parties discussed a number of topical issues of the current situation in the negotiation process. In particular, the sides exchanged views on dynamism and effectiveness of interaction between the expert (working) groups. As noticed by Vitaly Ignatiev, the situation in the dialogue at this level of the negotiation process has significantly degraded due to unreadiness of the Moldovan side for the objective and results-focused work.

“We have discussed the work of the expert (working) groups quite attentively and thoroughly and focused on the discussion of education issues. Unfortunately, during the last meeting of experts on education issues on 27 September Moldovan colleagues were not ready to discuss the issue of apostilization of educational documents, which is one of the topics reflected in the Berlin Protocol. There is no dynamism, Moldovan partners are not ready to discuss this completely non-political humanitarian issue” – said the Head of the PMR’s MFA during the briefing after the meeting. He noted that “the situation in other expert (working) groups is no better”.

The Pridnestrovian side gave special priority to the problem of freight railway communication in the framework of the dialogue. According to Vitaly Ignatiev, the railway problem gets especially urgent, involving both the problem of fuel delivery to the territory of Pridnestroviе and losses of economic entities of the republic. “The Pridnestrovian railway has lost more than $ 200 000 for the last months. On the contrary, the Moldovan railway made extra money during the last three months, according to our estimates, nearly half a million dollars by unilateral changing of the logistics. This situation is not normal and cannot last. Violation of the Protocol Decision on the railway is counterproductive” – the diplomat stressed.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Protocol Decision “On the principles of the resumption of a full-scale freight railway communication through the territory of Pridnestrovie” expires at the end of this year, and in this context, the Pridnestrovian representatives also indicated the need for a new agreement during the meeting.

“We need to find a solution that would have a positive impact on the interests of economic agents of Pridnestrovie, Moldova and also Ukraine. My colleague agreed that the transit of goods through the Pridnestrovian section of the railway has dropped, and I am deeply convinced that it has dropped due to the unilateral actions taken by the Moldovan side since the beginning of this year in fact. The Pridnestrovian side has submitted a package initiative – a new draft Protocol Decision – through the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Cord Meier-Klodt. We have reasons to believe that Moldovan experts will examine this agreement and we will be able to discuss all aspects of railway issues in details in the course of the next meeting of the expert (working) groups” – said Vitaly Ignatiev during the communication with the media.

At the same time, as noted by the Foreign Minister of PMR, the most important aspect of the meeting was the discussion of the prospects for holding a 5+2 meeting.

Let us recall, that the Pridnestrovian side has put forward the initiative to hold the “Permanent Conference...” for three times: before the Bavarian Conference on the confidence-building measures; in July in the context of the aggravation of the situation with rail imports in Pridnestrovie and in September, during the meeting with the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Cord Hinrich Meier-Klodt.

“In our view, the meeting is very necessary and reasonable precisely because of the stagnation of the negotiation process due to lack of the necessary political impetus to the expert (working) groups. At the technical level there are draft solutions: I can officially say that there are ideas, suggestions and draft protocol decisions for the entire spectrum of the expert’s activities, which had been developed and submitted by the Pridnestrovian side. Unfortunately, we do not see any response from the Moldovan colleagues, substantive work, discussion of the most of them. Problems remain suspended. Moldovan officials say that they are not ready to discuss specific issues” – noted Vitaly Ignatiev.

According to the diplomat, the current situation confirms the absence of a certain political momentum of the Moldovan side for substantive work, and “to generate this momentum will be difficult” at meetings of political representatives.

“We need the support of our international partners. We also need to discuss the prospects for the implementation of an important agreement, namely the Berlin Protocol, which is in many ways the “road map” in the small steps tactics to tackle urgent problems that have accumulated in relations between the parties” – said the Head of the Foreign Ministry.

In addition, as Vitaly Ignatiev emphasized, another factor pointing to the need to discuss issues with the participation of international mediators is the continuing practice of Moldova’s unilateral restrictive measures, including the problems emerged with cars of “Moldova Steel Works” and “Pribor” plant.

“Today, we have repeatedly suggested to answer whether the Moldovan side is ready for the meeting of the “Permanent Conference” in the very near future. Unfortunately, my Moldovan counterpart has not responded unequivocally, but on the basis of his response, I can tell that the Moldovan side is not ready for it. It has been said that it is necessary “to prepare some drafts decisions”. I want to assure you that when we were working in Berlin in the framework of the “Permanent Conference...” there was no pre-prepared document or elaborated solutions. Moreover, it seems to me, to put preconditions is inappropriate, because there are negotiations and there is a responsibility, including the responsibility of political representatives who signed the Berlin Protocol. At that moment, when there are no agreements and specific decisions at the level of experts, one needs assistance both from political representatives and the international community” – the Foreign Minister of the PMR declared.

“Permanent Conference...” is not an informal “platform for PR stunts” within the framework of the negotiation process, it is not a showcase, where one can place ready-made solutions. This is the place where all have to work together and try to balance their interests to reach concrete solutions, which contribute to improving the lives both in Pridnestrovie and Moldova. We base on this paradigm and are guided by the small steps tactics. We believe that the meeting of the “Permanent Conference...” can and should give the necessary impetus to our work in the framework of the negotiation process at all levels. This is our position of principle” – concluded the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR.