Vladimir Yastrebchak Holds Briefing for the Journalists of Pridnestrovian and Russian Media

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak informed of his 27 November meeting in Bender with Deputy Prime Minister Victor Osipov, chief negotiator of the Republic of Moldova. The Minister marked that the meeting was of working character and was agreed upon as far back as during informal consultations in Vienna and Tiraspol.
In Bender the sides discussed current issues which demand solution in the interests of both sides. In particular, the Moldovan side is concerned with solution of the problems of land-utilization by Moldovan farmers who live in the neighborhood of the Pridnestrovian city of Dubossari.  Vladimir Yastrebchak told that the previous mechanism that had been agreed on with the former leadership of Moldova would be preserved for those farmers. As for the Pridnestrovian side, it is primarily concerned with uncertainty over functioning of Pridnestrovian enterprises. Vladimir Yastrebchak reminded that temporary registration of the PMR's enterprises in Moldova expires on 1 January; upon that, in line with the Moldovan legislation, they will have to pay taxes to the budget of the RM. Tiraspol has certain doubts over the fact that the Government of Moldova has not extended the current Regulation yet. This tension reappears time after time since 2006, thus, Tiraspol requires the system of guarantees that would exclude any forms of pressure, economic pressure including.
In the course of the meeting, the Pridnestrovian side also rose the question of a free crossing of Moldovan borders by people and transport,  as well as the issue concerning the resumption of regular functioning of the railway system, the problem of criminal prosecution of the Pridnestrovian officials by Moldovan bodies.  These problems are expected to be solved within JCC Working Groups.
The date for the next meeting between political representatives of Moldova and Pridnestrovie has not been arranged yet. According to Vladimir Yastrebchak, it should be held with participation of new leaders of Moldovan Working Groups (they are expected to be appointed in the nearest time) and current leaders of the Pridnestrovian Expert Groups.
In his answer to the journalists' questions, Vladimir Yastrebchak commented upon the statements made by Moldovan representatives during the OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens. In particular, Moldova again raised the questions of Russian troops' withdrawal from the region and the change of the peacekeeping operation format. Vladimir Yastrebchak marked consistency in Moldova's policy, no matter who rules the country. Representatives of former authority used to propose the same. “We accept these statements simply as rhetoric which goes in line with the political commitments of   those who have recently come to power. Though, such rhetoric makes us regret,” told Vladimir Yastrebchak.  He emphasized that none of officials from the RM had made any statements as to the repudiation of the Joint Statement signed in Moscow on March 18 this year by the Presidents of Russia, Moldova and Pridnestrovie  which stipulates that the present-day format of the peacekeeping operation must remain unchangeable till the final settlement of Moldova-Pridnestrovie relations.  In his comments on the announcements of some Kishinev politicians about the advisability of the “5+2” format to be transformed into the “seven” format which would provide all participants with equal powers, the Minister noted that no official appeals on this subject had been addressed to Tiraspol. “As for the role and place of the EU and the USA in the consultations on Moldova-Pridnestrovie settlement in the “5+2” format, we proceed from the fact that the decision on their involvement was adopted by consensus. There is a Protocol on the rights and duties of the mediators adopted by all five members of the negotiation process. This Protocol gives the EU and the USA enough grounds and possibilities for facilitating the consultations and cooperation between the sides in line with their powers. Presently, there are no grounds for extending these powers,” stated the diplomat.   At the same time, the “2+1” format (the PMR, the RM, the RF) being conducted at high level remains of current interest. Vladimir Yastrebchak assumed that this format “is forgotten” because of the fact that Moldova has no equal representative ad interim. According to the Minister, neither the head of Moldova's Government Vlad Filat nor the Acting President of Moldova Mihai Gimpu has enough authority that would make this format effective.
During the conversation with the journalists, an issue was raised concerning boundary demarcation between Moldova, Pridnestrovie and Ukraine. “Ukraine and Moldova have a wonderful operating mechanism of demarcation quite good for two acknowledged states being in good-neighborly relations with each other and having no conflicts along their boundaries. And Pridnestrovie is a side to such a conflict, and has its own stance on the border segment issue. We are ready for a bilateral demarcation of the border between Pridnestrovie and Ukraine. Of course, before a final settlement of Moldova-Pridnestrovie relations, Ukraine will hardly make such a step. Hence, Pridnestrovie cannot be involved in this mechanism of boundary demarcation. Nevertheless, we realize that this problem is urgent enough, especially for the Ukraine. We have our own position according to which our representatives must take part in all forums that have the border demarcation problem on their agendas. And as long as there is no effective mechanism that would allow Pridnestrovian official representatives  participate in these forums , the question of demarcation of the Pridnestrovian border section will be requiring further improvement,” stated Vladimir Yastrebchak.
At the same time, according to the head of the PMR's Foreign Ministry, international practice gives much possibility for a unilateral border demarcation. The question is how far this problem is urgent for the Ukraine and whether it is ready to carry out demarcation activities along Pridnestrovian segment either independently or with the help of the EUBAM.
As Vladimir Yastrebchak told, the question of opening polling stations in Pridnestrovie for Ukrainian presidential elections remains unsolved. Tiraspol hopes, Pridnestrovian people with Ukrainian citizenship will be given an opportunity to take part in the elections; meanwhile, Kiev is analyzing this issue. According to Vladimir Yastrebchak, Tiraspol is ready to open polling stations, and now it is for Ukraine to decide. The Minister considers there will be no sense for presidential candidates to take the stump on the territory of Pridnestrovie if no polling stations are opened in Pridnestrovie.

Other issues were also touched upon in the course of the briefing.