Foreign Minister Joined a Round Table at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation


PMR Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev took part online in the Round Table on Development of Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation with Compatriots in the Modern Geopolitical Realities, which took place today at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. One of the key issues at the event was the protection of the rights and interests of Russian compatriots in Pridnestrovie.

The round table gathered representatives of Russian authorities, political and public figures, human rights activists and experts. The Pridnestrovian side was represented by Alexander Korshunov and Galina Antyufeyeva, Chairman and Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Council, Leonid Manakov, Head of the Official Representation of the PMR in Moscow, and Vladimir Ladunkin, Head of the Civic Chamber.

In his address, Vitaly Ignatiev focused on the current situation in Pridnestrovie. According to him, the situation around the republic is developing in several negative trends at once, including an unprecedented increase in pressure on the PMR, the militarization of Moldova, which is in a state of unresolved conflict with Pridnestrovie, as well as the total ousting of all elements of the Russian presence inside the Republic of Moldova.

The Minister noted that Moldova has blocked the negotiation process in the Permanent Conference format after 2019, as a result of which there is currently no international platform that allows voicing the Pridnestrovian position. At the same time, the Republic of Moldova has intensified the multi-level pressure in all directions. The diplomat stressed the continuing banking and financial restrictions, problems with the import of medicines, food and other goods, restrictions on the movement of Pridnestrovian vehicles and pressure on PMR citizens at the Chisinau airport.

One of the new challenges Vitaly Ignatiev called the bill adopted in the first reading in the Republic of Moldova to tighten the criminal code to include a number of articles such as “separatism”, “conspiracy against Moldova”, “creation of an anti-constitutional entity” and others. He drew attention to the fact that, in practice, any resident of Pridnestrovie can be detained and criminally prosecuted for political reasons.

In this context, the PMR Foreign Minister also noted that Pridnestrovie is an internationally recognized equal party to the negotiation process, and that resorting to this type of repressive methods is unacceptable as it grossly violates the principles and procedures of the dialogue. 

In his speech, Vitaly Ignatiev also raised the militarization processes in the neighboring state, pointing to the significant defense budget increase and the enhanced financial and technical military support for Moldova from the European Union and USA, as well as Moldova’s active integration into the NATO system. In parallel, as the diplomat said, the Moldovan side continues to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Pridnestrovie, while taking steps to disrupt the peacekeeping operation. All this destroys the pillars of peace and security on the banks of the Dniester.

“The situation is highly complicated and unstable. In these conditions, extra efforts are needed to defend the absolutely legal rights, freedoms and interests of Russian citizens and compatriots in Pridnestrovie. This is the most important challenge and priority for all of us today, because, I repeat, Moldova’s practical steps are such that, if continued, they may result in escalation of tension and yet another conflict aggravation, with negative ramifications for everyone,” the Minister said.

During the discussion, remarks were also made by Alena Arshinova, State Duma MP, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Education; Natalia Narochnitskaya, Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation; Alexander Brod, Member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights; Vladimir Ladunkin, Head of the PMR Civic Chamber; Olga Gukalenko, Plenipotentiary Representative of the PMR Supreme Council in the Russian Federation on interparliamentary cooperation, and others.

Leonid Manakov, Head of the PMR Official Representation in Moscow, proposed setting up an expert group to develop a mechanism for solving the issues of protecting the rights of the PMR people and Russian citizens living in Pridnestrovie, to be subsequently submitted to the legislative bodies of the Russian Federation.