Grigory Karasin: Any Attempts to Cast a Shadow On Russian Peacekeeping Efforts Are Absolutely Unacceptable For the Russian Side

Grigory Karasin: Any Attempts to Cast a Shadow On Russian Peacekeeping Efforts Are Absolutely Unacceptable For the Russian Side

Official Secretary, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Grigory Karasin answered the questions of ‘RIA Novosti' - the news agency concerning Pridniestrovie-Moldova relations.

Question: How could you estimate rumors in the Moldovan and Russian mass-media about toughening of the Moldovan position on Pridnestrovian settlement. It has been mooted that the emphasis of the new government will be made on a withdrawal of the Russian troops out of Pridnestrovie. There are cited passages like, “even one Russian soldier with the Kalashnikov gun in the territory of Pridniestrovie infracts the Moldavian Constitution”.

Grigory Karasin: I hope that this is just a journalistic fancies. If it represents the facts, then consolidated efforts on the Pridnestrovian direction can go on the old exhausted track again. Critical personalities against military presence of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, supported in Kishinev and many other European capitals, are old and incorrect.

When it comes to “Moldovan government never gave a necessary consent to placement of the Russian troops”, the important circumstance is suppressed – the question could not be simply put in such plane for that simple reason that they were not brought in Moldova after its acquisition of sovereignty. Both partials of military presence – the contingent of peacekeeping forces in the Security Zone with accurately stipulated mandate and Operative group of the Russian troops with a task of protection of the ammunition warehouses situated in Kolbasna – are derivative of lack of conflict settlement – the situation that both sides, including Moldavian one, hold responsibility for. Ammunition warehouses protected by the small Russian troop cannot be taken out of the region in conditions when political settlement is actually blocked. The reason of the events is known: the official Kishinev toughened a position in the issues of settlement, rejects not only the arrangements reached for the last twenty years, but also from the decisions coordinated after renewal of official negotiations in a format “5+2” in September, 2011.

Signed at level of the presidents of Russia and Moldova and initialed by the Pridnestrovian leader on July 21, 1992 The Agreement on Principles of Peaceful Settlement of Armed Conflict in the Pridnestrovian Region of the Republic of Moldova remains in force. The Joint Control Commission was founded and operates together with affiliated Joint Peacekeeping Forces including the Russian contingent. In the meantime the protocol on quantitative structure and placement of peacekeeping forces was adopted.

It is pertinently to note that the Russian side does everything possible  for withdrawal of stored ammunition. So, when the properly conditions were provided in 2001-2003, more than 40 trains with ammunition and military property were taken out.

The constant emphasis that the Russian military men “do not posses legal status” already led the Moldovan official representatives to statements almost about “occupancy”. Such logic cannot be accepted by us, it is in contradiction with positions and ambiance of Treaty of Amity and Co-operation of Russia and Moldova concluded in 2001 and prolonged in 2011, and with the tone of development of the partnership relations of two countries that strengthened in recent years.

Any attempts to cast a shadow on peacekeeping efforts of Russia are absolutely unacceptable for the Russian side.

Confined to political settlement process of the Pridnestrovian problem, wherein the Russian Federation acts as a co-intermediary and the guarantor, the Russian side among other issues emphasizes that any attempts of the conflict partials to decline all responsibility for observance of positions of the Agreement on Principles of Peaceful Settlement of Armed Conflict in a present intense situation are very dangerous. In respect to unilateral steps, the situation can become deadlock.

Question: How you can estimate a situation at negotiations in the 5+2 format?

Grigory Karasin: As practice of the last time shows, that laborious work on construction of trust measures between coasts of Dniestr, concentration on problems of daily life of ordinary people at this stage fructifies. This is evidenced by even though slow but all the same progress reached during several last negotiation rounds under Permanent Conference.

During the Odessa round in May, 2013, the Agreement on dismantle of Dniester ropeway which has not operated for about 15 years and is dangerous to inhabitants of Rybnitsa.

We hope that the next round of negotiations coming in July in Vienna will be also constructive and will lead to real results.

Question: How does the new Pridnestrovian law on the PMR border fits in this context?

Grigory Karasin: We attentively study a situation around this problem, we also ask the proper questions to our Pridnestrovian partners. When the situation clarifies, we will define the position about this question.