Vitaly Ignatiev met with Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Thomas Mayr-Harting


The Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry held the meeting between Vitaly Ignatiev and OSCE delegation led by Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Thomas Mayr-Harting.

Welcoming, Vitaly Ignatiev congratulated Thomas Mayr-Harting on assuming the post of Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office. “Your experience within settlement process is encouraging. You are well aware of the aspects associated with this process. Unfortunately, the agenda that we dealt with in 2016 and later remains relevant today with new problems added. Therefore, we welcome the readiness of the Chairmanship-in-Office to actively engage in work from the beginning of this year,” the head of Foreign Ministry said.

During the conversation, a thorough exchange of views on relevant aspects of the current situation in the negotiation process between Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova took place. Vitaly Ignatiev noted a decrease in dynamics and further degradation of the dialogue between the parties in 2019 due to the Republic of Moldova’s decision not to sign the Bratislava meeting final protocol under far-fetched pretext and the implementation of new unilateral measures of pressure on Pridnestrovie. In particular, the Pridnestrovian Foreign Minister emphasized problems in the banking sector and restrictions on Pridnestrovian vehicles, which, according to him, were introduced under conditions when the VRO mechanism does not provide the opportunity for all Pridnestrovian drivers to participate in international traffic, that occurring because Chisinau violated its obligations under the Protocol Decision of April 24, 2018.

The Minister drew special attention to the Pridnestrovian citizen A. Samonia kidnaped in Moldova. “We believe that it is unacceptable to exert pressure on people, abduct them and politicize these processes. We appealed to the OSCE with a request to assist in clarifying this situation and speeding up the release of Mr. Samonia,” the PMR Foreign Minister said.

Continuing the discussion, Vitaly Ignatiev stated that the Moldovan side deliberately creates new problems aiming to divert attention from the already agreed by all international participants of the 5 + 2 format negotiation agenda towards issues outside the dialogue framework. According to him, the destructive actions Chisinau takes, only provokes uncontrolled appearance of new problems and are an attempt to destroy the dialogue at all levels of the negotiation structure.

 “First of all, it is necessary to fulfill the Berlin + package and fully implement all previously reached agreements. So far, neither transport, nor telecommunications and criminal cases issues show dynamics; on the contrary, there is a certain regression. Therefore, today we shared our fears that the Moldovan side is trying to imitate activity, shifting the focus of attention to some new topics that they came up with and showing no real ground,” the Minister said.

Ending the meeting, Vitaly Ignatiev outlined the willingness of the Pridnestrovian side to move forward and expressed hope that the Albanian Chairmanship, within its powers, would make every effort to ensure that the negotiation process is conducted in a rhythmic and efficient manner.

At his turn, Thomas Mayr-Harting emphasized the priority nature of the Moldovan-Pridnestrovian settlement process for the Albanian Chairmanship, and personally the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Edi Rama. “I see my task as avoiding the risk of escalation of the situation and improving people's lives. I am aimed at the full implementation of the Berlin + protocols,” the diplomat said. The OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office Special Representative also noted interest in arranging the “Permanent Meeting ...” in the first half of this year and in organizing the next Bavarian conference on confidence-building measures.