Press center in the International Information Agency “Russia segodnya” held a press conference by President of Pridnestrovie Evgeny Shevchuk

Press center in the International Information Agency “Russia segodnya” held a press conference by President of Pridnestrovie Evgeny Shevchuk

During the briefing Yevgeny Shevchuk told journalists about the current situation that Pridnestrovie is in now. According to the Head of State, a major challenge for the republic is blockade actions on the part of Moldova and Ukraine aimed at stifling Pridnestrovie's economy.

Yevgeny Shevchuk reminded that since 2006 Moldova jointly with Ukraine introduced so called “new regime” for export of Pridnestrovian goods by changing therefore traditional economic flows of the republic. The President noted that such unilateral actions had already led to serious economic losses estimated at about $ 480 million.

“Entire sectors of the Pridnestrovian economy died. In particular, it is about lost opportunity for international road transport of cargo by Pridnestrovian economic agents because it was not possible to provide those transportations with accompanying documents. In fact, that sector died, ” – said Yevgeny Shevchuk.

“Due to the policy of constant economic restrictions Pridnestrovie does not have enough resources in order to settle up fully for gas supplied from Russia. I should note that in case of unblocking the economy we are ready to switch to payments for supplied gas at market prices. This requires all participants of the negotiation format to create normal conditions for transit of cargo,” – said the President.

The Head of State pointed out the restrictive measures still remained in force, the situation got only worse due to the crisis in Ukraine which resulted in reduction of the turnover at the Pridnestrovian – Ukrainian border and virtually destroyed all border trade. Yevgeny Shevchuk also drew attention that against this background the Republic of Moldova made new agreements, namely, Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area which, according to him, is contrary to the international obligations of the country and eventually will have a new severe impact on economy of Pridnestrovie.

“Moldova made certain international commitments in 1997 – at the time in Moscow a memorandum was signed under which all issues affecting Pridnestrovie during international contacts had to be agreed with Pridnestrovie by Moldova. That document was signed by the Russian Federation, Moldova, Pridnestrovie, the signing was held in the presence of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. The Republic of Moldova without complying international commitments launched a broad discussion on the Association with the EU without considering the views of Pridnestrovie, taking into account neither groups of goods of Pridnestrovian producers, nor many other aspects and peculiarities of Pridnestrovian economy, thereby formed additional tension related to foreign economic activities,” – stated Yevgeny Shevchuk.

“We express support for a sequence of steps in the international arena and we think that if a country makes international commitments it should fulfill them. The agreement which was signed by Moldova does not take into account Pridnestrovie's interests. We are interested in close integration with the Customs Union, but nonetheless, we as any country are interested in forming normal conditions for trade with everyone,” – he emphasized.

Yevgeny Shevchuk expressed confidence in the need to refuse practices worsening citizens' life. According to his words, some political forces try to force the Pridnestrovians to change their political convictions which ultimately results in degradation in relations between the sides and lowering opportunity to fulfill inalienable human rights – the freedom of movement, obtaining of education and so forth. The Head of State stressed such actions must be ceased.

“There is a need to stop the information, diplomatic, economic war, unblock transport. This will be able, in turn, to form appropriate platform for more complex political discussion,” – he said.

Replying to a question about prospects of the political settlement of the relations between Moldova and Pridnestrtovie, Yevgeny Shevchuk emphasized that the Pridnestrovian side views that more effective way to solve the situation is the way of “civilized divorce”.

“Given that Pridnestrovie has the 25-year history of an independent state, the conflicting relations with Kishinev, we proposed the formula of “civilized divorce” from Moldova which will actually create preconditions for establishing stability in this part of Europe. It is a just solution because there is people's will which remains unchanged for decades, and unwillingness to take into account this will and then use diplomatic, economic, information coercion levers  to suppress it, will result in widening conflict and generating the existing contradictions,” – stated the Head of State. “The recognition of Pridnestrovie is the best and short way for peace and stability,” – he said.

Yevgeny Shevchuk therefore urged to pay attention to the fact that around the world there is a practice of different application of international norms: thus, for example, Gibraltar approaches the referendum procedures in terms of one conception, but Pridnestrovie  - in terms of other conception. Some countries recognize Kosovo. In this context, President stressed that “Pridnestrovie does not have less reasons to be recognized”.

During the briefing Yevgeny Shevchuk also refuted accusations against Pridnestrovie of disruption of negotiations in 5+2 format reporting that the regular round was postponed because of new repressive steps by the Republic of Moldova that hinder the dialogue on the basis of the principle of the equality of the parties.  Pridnestrovie therefore proposed to 5+2 participants to meet in Kishinev and Tiraspol to gain a deeper understanding of the situation in relations between the parties.

“Moldovan authorities initiated 67 criminal cases against Pridnestrovian officials, accusing them of unconstitutional appropriation of power authorization of an official. There are other examples when they block export of our economic agents to Russia. We see such actions as unconstructive, because one of the parties creates atmosphere of pressure on the other party. We consider it unacceptable in terms of agreed Principles and procedures of carrying out negotiations in 5+2 format, and for that reason we proposed to hold a series of contacts of 5+2 participants by method of “shuttle diplomacy” to clarify these issues and formulate the negotiating agenda. We hope that 5+2 participants will visit Tiraspol and Kishinev to discuss existing problems,” – informed the President.

Commenting on the Ukrainian crisis influence on Pridnestrovie, Yevgeny Shevchuk drew attention to the fact that Ukraine refuses passage to citizens of the Russian Federation at the Pridnestrovian-Ukrainian border, and many citizens knowing the situation in the country, they just refrain from visiting Ukraine. In that context the Head of State denied statements by some Ukrainian politicians and journalists on so-called “Pridnestrovian threat”.

“A number of media representatives and Ukrainian officials make, to say the least, inaccuracy when trying to accuse Pridnestrovie of preparing invasion into Ukraine and concentrating Pridnestrovian armed forces at the Pridnestrovian-Ukrainian border. This information is false. We consider it as an attempt by some political forces to expand the conflict and provoke tension at the border with Pridnestrovie. We requested to the OSCE and Ukraine's representatives to come to Pridnestrovie and check one or another territories for military preparations and aggressive intentions of the Pridnestrovians. Unfortunately, by a strange coincidence, the Head of the OSCE Mission does not support our initiative and besides, if the international organization certified that there were no military preparations, tension would be reduced,” – he emphasized. If Ukrainian representatives, those who still continue false information policy against Pridnestrovie, want to see the current state of things, they have such opportunity,”- stated the President.

Yevgeny Shevchuk also warned against possible provocations at the border with Pridnestrovie. “Since 1992 Pridnestrovie peacefully has built its statehood, and we would not want radicals from one or another side, nationalists, or else fascists to enter our territory and try to drag Pridnestrovie into a conflict,” – he stressed. Generally, according to the Head of State, the Pridnestrovians are very concerned about the situation in Ukraine, with which the republic has traditionally friendly and good neighbourly relations, and in this regard Pridnestrovie wishes the soonest stabilization of the situation in the neighbouring country.

On the question of the Russian peacekeeping operation in Pridnestrovie, Yevgeny Shevchuk noted that attempts “to blacken” the peacekeeping operation are aimed to destabilize security measures, because, according to the existing agreements, changing the peacekeeping format is possible only after full political resolution of the conflict. “There are relevant statements of the Presidents of Moldova in the presence of the President of the RF that transformation of the peacekeeping operation is possible only when the formula of final political settlement will be found, and compromises in that area have not been found. The most important is peace, and destabilizing calls for a withdrawal of peacekeepers are dangerous. First instruments and mechanism of political settlement are need to be found which is mutually acceptable for both parties, and then considering review of the peacekeeping format is possible,” – he pointed out.

Within the context, Yevgeny Shevchuk expressed gratitude to the Russian Federation for the contribution which the RF's peacekeepers had been making for more than 20 years to promoting peace in Pridnestrovie. The Head of State also expressed appreciation to the leadership of Russia for efforts to strengthen cooperation between Russia and the PMR, and noted that today it is developing dynamically.

“Thanks to the efforts of non-profit organizations, officials, patriots of Russia, a number of socially significant projects on the improvement of infrastructure, education, healthcare are implemented on the territory of Pridnestrovie. We keep in extended contact with all bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation, we are in direct contact with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Special Representative of the President of the RF for Pridnestrovie Dmitry Rogozin who understands deeply and in details Pridnestrovie's problems, provides  assistance to Russian citizens and compatriots living here. This year in the framework of inter-ministerial contacts agreements were reached that allows to create the atmosphere of more favourable treatment to export of our goods. We reckon on extending and strengthening cooperation,” – said Yevgeny Shevchuk.