MFA’s Comment on Moldova’s Refusal of Direct Dialogue


The Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry considered the comment of Moldova’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita, expressing a rather strange regret that “the Pridnestrovian side preferred direct letters to use existing formats”. At the same time, Moldova’s representative believes that Pridnestrovie “must go through the existing formats first”.

We are sure that with this comment Mrs. Gavrilita managed to surprise not only the Pridnestrovian side, but all international participants in the negotiation process. By the current Moldovan leadership’s logic, it turns out that proactive direct appeals are the last thing Pridnestrovian top leadership needs in order to organize a dialogue at the level of the presidents of Moldova and Pridnestrovie.

So what does Chisinau need? What’s the cause of regret? Apparently, the Moldovan leadership would feel much more comfortable if, as they say, the President of Pridnestrovie didn’t send “these direct” letters. Probably, Chisinau would rather have the Pridnestrovian side humbly and silently observe Moldova’s long-term disregard of its international obligations in the settlement, the strengthening of blockade and restrictive measures and gross violations of Pridnestrovian citizens’ rights and freedoms, the deliberate destruction by the Moldovan side of existing negotiation levels and mechanisms, which eventually brought the situation to the current critical state.

Since Moldova’s representatives have difficulties with a professional understanding of the content, structure and mechanisms of the international negotiation process with Pridnestrovie, we feel obliged to make a short literacy note.

Let’s start simply. Moldova’s Prime Minister must have noticed that the position of Moldova’s official political representative in the settlement has been vacant for almost two months – an incident, unprecedented for the settlement and directly related to the approaches or their absence in Moldova’s current Cabinet. Pridnestrovie is always ready to discuss topical issues, including the organization of contacts of leaders – but there’s no interlocutor yet.

Mrs. Gavrilita most definitely knows that it was the Moldovan side that officially asked the current Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship not to hold a meeting in the international 5+2 format in Stockholm, scheduled for early November, eventually disrupting the work of the “Permanent Conference ...” on a broad bilateral agenda. In 2020, it was also Chisinau’s request to postpone the meeting that made its holding by the Albanian OSCE Chairpersonship impossible.

Mrs. Gavrilita is personally responsible for the decreasing of discipline and breaking up the established formats of interaction in the negotiation process through her absolutely unjustified and inexplicable second refusal in a row to sign Additional Protocols extending the validity of the agreement on rail freight traffic through the territory of Pridnestrovie, although since 2012 such a document has been signed by all her predecessors 10 times in total.

A senior official must know that neither the technical industry expert (working) groups, nor the highly respected referents, consultants or employees of the parties’ offices have the authority to make decisions on the parties’ top political leadership meetings.

We must disappoint Mrs. Gavrilita once again and inform her that there are no restrictions on the interaction of the parties in the negotiation process, as well as there is no such thing as a specific way of transmitting appeals “through other formats”. The main criterion is that the letter reaches the addressee in a timely manner. In fact, the fifth message of the President of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic to his Moldovan counterpart was published in order to avoid such incidents.

In reality, the complaints of Moldova’s Prime Minister cannot conceal Moldova’s fear of a direct political dialogue with Pridnestrovie and unwillingness to fulfill its obligations and attempts to avoid responsibility for the future by any means.

But negotiations are inevitable. For better or worse, Mrs. Gavrilita has to decide on her own.

As the well-known wisdom says: those ready for work are looking for opportunities, those afraid of it – for excuses.