Representatives on Political Issues from Pridnestrovie and Moldova met in Bendery


At the initiative of the Pridnestrovian side a meeting of representatives on political issues from Pridnestrovie and Moldova Vitaly Ignatiev and Gheorghe Balan took place in the office of the OSCE Mission in Bendery today.

The Pridnestrovian delegation asked the Moldovan side to clarify the willingness to organize a series of expert meetings (working) groups, and possible specific dates to hold them. The Pridnestrovian side proposed to discuss among the priority areas the problems in the field of rail and road transport, education, legal and regulatory documentation support of citizens. We remind that at the previous meeting in the 1+1 format held on March 3, 2016 in Kishinev the representatives on political issues agreed on the need for relevant expert meetings in the near future.

The Pridnestrovian side expressed its serious concern at the fact that after more than two weeks any substantive response on the organization of expert meetings (working) groups was not received from Moldova’s representatives. Speaking to journalists after the meeting Vitaly Ignatiev said that Pridnestrovie considers this approach as neglect of the need for systematic work.

 “In general, we see the current situation in the negotiation process as extremely negative, because there have not been any substantive meetings of expert (working) groups since the last communication with my counterpart. The initiatives to hold six meetings of experts in the specific dates have been ignored by the Moldovan side,” the diplomat noted.

At the same time during the discussion representative on political issues from Pridnestrovie Vitaly Ignatiev reminded Moldovan counterparts that the Pridnestrovian side had sent a number of draft documents elaborated in an integrated manner aimed at settling very sensitive issues in the field of rail and road transport to Moldova, as well as all 5+2 participants a half months ago. Prindestrovian diplomats urged Moldovan counterparts to clarify Moldova’s position on those proposals, however, the representative on political issues from Moldova once again found it difficult to provide the required information.

 “Today, we have one more time raised topical issues in the field of rail freight communication, transport, politically motivated criminal cases, and mutual recognition of documents issued by the competent authorities of the sides. All these issues require a substantive study at the level of subject matter specialists within the expert (working) groups. Unfortunately, today, the Moldovan side has not confirmed the readiness to hold expert meetings on these matters, besides the declarations of openness to dialogue and the intention to work. It was stated once again that some contacts may take place in the next week or two. We believe this approach is meaningless,” stated the head of the Foreign Ministry of Pridnestrovie.

 Continuing the discussion of that issue the Pridnestrovian side urged Moldovan negotiators not to disrupt the substantial part of the visit of the delegation of mediators and observers in the negotiation process (3+2) to Pridnestrovie and Moldova planned for April this year, for which the sides, as expected, had to work on and agree on a number of practical initiatives. According to Vitaly Ignatiev, demonstrating the unwillingness to discuss pressing issues at the level of expert (working) groups, the Moldovan side actually “sabotages the substantive work” in this direction.

 “The task of political representatives is not to opt out of the work, but to make an effort personally in the most active way to resolve problems in a wide range of areas,” said the head of the Foreign Ministry of the PMR following the meeting.

 In the course of the meeting Vitaly Ignatiev also emphasized the inadmissibility of mixing negotiation formats existing in the settlement process. It was noted that the discussion of aspects directly related to the functioning of the peacekeeping operation, as well as Security zone issues at the level of representatives on political issues is inadmissible, because the matter is in the exclusive competence of the Joint Control Commission.

 “All attempts to unbalance this format and replace one issue with another, in our view, are counterproductive. We are interested in the acute problems that affect people's lives. Many of them are long-lasting. The Moldovan side, ignoring this set of issues, tries to move the focus to contrived and totally unexamined aspects which have never been discussed during the communication of political representatives,” said Vitaly Ignatiev.