Vitaly Ignatiev meets with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors


The meeting between Acting Foreign Minister of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors was held at the PMR's MFA. The meeting was also attended by Minister of Education of the PMR Tatyana Tsivinskaya.

Welcoming the guest, Vitaly Ignatiev said that such monitoring visits provide a good opportunity to discuss topical issues related to the competence of the High Commissioner on National Minorities. “It is very important for Pridnestrovie to inform the High Commissioner about the situation that is emerging in terms of ensuring human rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, we have to note that the Pridnestrovian citizens are currently facing a number of problems and limitations arising from the unilateral actions of the Republic of Moldova and the specific steps of the Ukrainian side. Unfortunately, the problem situation applies to all Pridnestrovian residents, regardless of their nationality,” said the head of the Foreign Ministry of the PMR.

Astrid Thors, in her turn, highly appreciated the opportunity to exchange views on current issues, noting that “more extensive assessment can be carried out in this way, including with regard to the issues of inter-ethnic relations”.

In the course of the meeting the sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues in the social and humanitarian sphere. In particular, PMR’s Education Minister Tatyana Tsivinskaya provided detailed information on the regulatory framework, as well as mechanisms to ensure equal access to the PMR official languages study within the education system of the republic. Vitaly Ignatiev also highlighted that in Pridnestrovie there are no cause for the emergence of ethnic conflicts, which in turn is due to the constitutional grounds and the fundamental principles of state policy in this area, ensuring the equality of languages ​​and nationalities.

The head of the Foreign Ministry also drew attention of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to the results of a large-scale sociological survey held in the country showed that more than 50% of the population identify themselves as “Pridnestrovians”.

Also the sides discussed a number of aspects related to the profile of expert (working) groups on education from Pridnestrovie and Moldova. Vitaly Ignatiev called on the interlocutor to assist in finding compromise solutions and ideas in the framework of the ongoing dialogue on the apostillization of documents on education issued in the PMR. According to him, the Republic of Moldova “applies an inquisitorial approach to the nostrification of Pridnestrovian diplomas” at the moment as they make students, including Russian and Ukrainians, to retake exams in the Romanian language, as stressed by the diplomat, is a direct violation of their rights.

Some issues of functioning of Romanian-language schools in Pridnestrovie were raised at the initiative of Astrid Thors. Vitaly Ignatiev emphasiezed that the situation in this area stabilized considerably since 2014, however, it does not stop the Republic of Moldova and its international partners spreading biased information, whipping up hysteria around the so-called “school problem”.

The two sides agreed to continue cooperation on issues of mutual interest.