On the Meeting of the Permanent Conference in Vienna, February 27-28, 2014

On the Meeting of the Permanent Conference in Vienna, February 27-28, 2014

Today, Vienna saw the first meeting of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues in the Framework of the Pridnestrovian Settlement Negotiation Process under Swiss-Serbian OSCE Chairmanship.

The meeting began with the discussion of agenda which was previously assessed by the Pridnestrovian side as unacceptable because it contained a large number of uncoordinated issues. Radojko Bogojevic, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office declared that the document submitted by OSCE CiO was open for deliberation and possible negotiation by delegations from Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova.  However, despite the long exchange of views, the sides failed to reach agreement on the contents of the agenda of the meeting. Thus, a regular 5+2 meeting began without coherent and mutually acceptable agenda.

In this connection, Pridnestrovian side identified a number of issues it was ready to discuss at the meeting. Among them was freedom of movement of people and goods by all types of vehicle, economic cooperation, including freedom of foreign economic activity of Pridnestrovian enterprises, cancellation of discriminatory environmental tax, improving collaboration in the banking sector. Also, Pridnestrovian side expressed intention to raise the issue on the guarantees of implementation of agreements reached and papers signed, on joint measures to improve efficiency of expert (working) groups on CBMs and cooperation development, and on the analysis of previously reached agreements of the negotiation process. The Pridnestrovian delegation agreed to discuss current problems in the sphere of education, including legalization of documents on education issued in Pridnestrovie, and situation around Romanian-language schools, and also expressed readiness to listen to the information of the Moldovan side about improvement of interaction between law-enforcement structures of the parties.

In Vienna, representatives of Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova, as well as Russian Federation, Ukraine and the OSCE signed the previously initialed Protocol Decision “On Several Aspects of Free Movement”. The document records the commitment of the Moldovan side not to apply administrative sanctions against citizens of Pridnestrovie who don't possess nationality of the Republic of Moldova when they cross the state border of Moldova (inter alia, when they fly from Kishinev airport). As a result, one of the long-standing issues spoiling the dialogue between Pridnestrovie and Moldova since 2009 was settled. Moreover, this document was affixed by signatures of the 5+2 international partners, which, in essence, fixes international guarantees of the validity of this Protocol Decision.

In the course of the meeting, guarantees of fulfillment of agreements reached were substantively discussed. Pridnestrovian side has been raising this significant issue in the 5+2 format for already a long period of time. Similar initiatives were voiced also by delegation of the Russian Federation during previous meetings. Corresponding draft Agreement was prepared by the Pridnestrovian side before the 5+2 meeting in Brussels on October 3, 2013.

Taking into account discussions and opinions expressed by representatives of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the European Union, the draft document was further developed by the Pridnestrovian delegation into draft Protocol Decision on Several Supplementary Guarantee Mechanisms of Implementation of Agreements Reached and Documents Signed between Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova. Pridnestrovian side has officially circulated the draft, and looks forward to its substantive discussion at the upcoming meetings.