Igor Smirnov, “The Pridnestrovien society is a society that develops”


Today, in Tiraspol, President of Pridnestrovie Igor Smirnov held press-conference for representatives of local and foreign mass media, dedicated to the 21st anniversary of the formation of the PMR. It was mainly focused on the results of socio-economic development of the Republic over the past year, as well as issues of state foreign policy.

According to the President, the Pridnestrovien economy gradually restores positions lost during the world financial crises. Republic witnesses the growth of investment activity, industrial enterprises modernization processes, increasing agricultural output. In many ways this became possible as a result of implementation of measures of state support for real sector of economy, as well as due to the credits allotted by the Russian Federation. At the same time, as it was marked by Igor Smirnov, state policy retains its social orientation, meaning that education, healthcare, social protection are priorities in budget expenses.

However, according to the President, challenges and risks in which Pridnestrovie is forced to exist require from Tiraspol the quest for new non-standard solutions, clearly defined directions of its policy not only for the midterm but also long-term perspective. Hence, today special attention of the government is concentrated on elaboration of the “State Strategy of Socio-Economic Development for the Period from 2012 until 2025”.  Its goal is to define the ways and means of securing steady improvement of citizens' well-being, dynamic economic development, and strengthening of security. A number of corresponding programs have already been proposed as part of these activities. Thus, one of the priority issues, as was marked by Igor Smirnov, is import reduction of foodstuffs and their replacement by domestic goods.

By request of the journalists, the Head of the state gave overview of the situation in which our Republic is found in the run-up of the 21st anniversary of its creation. According to the President, “The Pridnestrovien society is a society that develops”, and this development is sustainable.

Journalists asked the President whether Pridnestrovie has enough resources for implementation of long-term programs that will be fixed in Strategy-2025. In the opinion of the Head of the State, the question should be put otherwise. “If put resources at first place and then adopt the program, nothing will come of it. Program is elaborated according to the problem,” Igor Smirnov said.

Regular Presidential elections of the PMR due in December aroused much interest of media representatives. A number of public organizations have already addressed Igor Smirnov with appeal to give his consent to once again run for this post.  At the given press-conference acting Head of the state didn't disclose his solution regarding this issue. According to the President, everything will become clear after election campaign is officially launched in the Republic.

Passing to the issues of foreign policy of the state, Igor Smirnov noted that the previous year was politically active for Pridnestrovie; this year about one hundred foreign delegations have paid visits to Pridnestrovie. The President highlighted the visit by the OSCE delegation headed by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Audronius Ažubalis, the visit by the delegation from Germany headed by Special Envoy for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany Patricia Flor, as well as the visit by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebeak. Igor Smirnov pointed, that representatives of international community alongside with Russia and Ukraine make serious efforts to resume full-scale dialog between Kishinev and Tiraspol. In Tiraspol this activity is considered as a real possibility for creation of necessary conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process, broken off by Moldova in 2006. President emphasized, that Tiraspol is always ready for constructive work with Kishinev on the basis of equality, and this completely conforms to the position of guarantor states, stipulated by Joint Statement of Presidents of Russia, Moldova and Pridnestrovie of March 18, 2009 and Joint Statement of Dmitriy Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovich of May 17, 2010.

Igor Smirnov reported, that after the Moscow meeting of June 21, diplomats “stopped the clock”; in September the consultations will be continued. “We are ready for this work and we will do it. At the same time, we are realists and, evaluating contemporary situation in Moldova, we caution intermediaries against overrated expectations. Political crisis in Moldova lasts for more than two years; there is no legitimate President; the country goes through constant electoral cycle,” Head of state noticed. He also expressed his concern in connection with activization of radical pro-Romanian forces in Moldova. Igor Smirnov emphasized, that the Pridnestrovien Moldavian Republic was created also in order to protect from the forms of fascism that appeared in Kishinev at the turn of 80s – 90s of the last century. People created the republic for themselves, but not for Russia, Ukraine or Moldova, and people must determine the future of their republic. At the same time, Tiraspol welcomes any initiatives of guarantor states and intermediaries, since they allow Pridnestrovie to avoid international isolation and preserve peace and stability in this region of Europe. “It is better to negotiate, than to lose people's lives,” stressed Igor Smirnov.

Answering the question about the prospects of cooperation with the Russian Federation, President noticed, that Pridnestrovie continues the course, directed on approaching to Russia. Igor Smirnov told that education and economy remain the most successful areas of interaction. According to him, the process of harmonization of Pridnestrovien and Russian legislations continues. In the interaction of Tiraspol and Moscow in the sphere of foreign policy, including the issues of Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement, the Pridnestrovien side finds understanding of its position from the side of leadership of Russian foreign office. President reported that this topic will be discussed in Germany on the OSCE forum.

Igor Smirnov rejected the suppositions of several representatives of foreign media, that supposedly “Russia yields Pridnestrovie”. According to him such statement of the question may arise only against the background of the situation, when leading world powers allow themselves to spread “democracy” in the countries, which possess oil, by means of dropping bombs. President pointed that when “EU – Russia” Council was created in 2010, the West said, that settlement of the Dniester conflict in the network of territorial unity of Moldova is a kind of test for Russia. The decision of the other issues of bilateral cooperation will supposedly be influenced by the result of this test for Moscow. Such talks were quickly suppressed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During one of the press conferences he reported that not Pridnestrovien issue, but joint system of missile defense could be the test for Russia.

Igor Smirnov was asked to evaluate the events in Libya. “The most terrible thing is that people lose their lives there. There is nothing more important than human life; Libyan oil recourses, which are being fought for by NATO countries, do not justify murders,” President marked. Igor Smirnov reminded that Pridnestrovie survived the tragedy in 1992 and in those terrible days during phone conversation he had to ask Boris Yeltsin a rhetorical question: “How many deaths more it needs for Russia to stop this massacre?” Head of state expressed his opinion that Libyan nation was able to decide on the way of living by itself, without NATO interference.

Summarizing the press conference, Igor Smirnov congratulated journalists with the 21st Anniversary of creation of the Pridnestrovien Moldavian Republic. “Observing this holiday, we have a right to ask ourselves: what if the Pridnestroviens did not created the republic? I think, everybody understands, that there would be no Russians in Moldova any more. Look at Baltic countries, European Union countries – how could they make 40% of inhabitants non-citizens?” President noticed. He emphasized, that people should not forget, where the fascism came from. At the same time, today's actuals show that when they talk about democracy in the West, they do not mean people's will. “The Pridnestroviens made their choice in favor of independence; and this choice must be respected,” President concluded.