First meeting in 2016 of representatives on political issues of Pridnestrovie and Moldova in Kishinev


Pridnestrovie and Moldova’s representatives on political issues Vitaly Ignatiev and Gheorghe Balan met for the first time in five months at the initiative of the Pridnestrovian side at the OSCE office in Kishinev.      

The meeting discussed a number of the most pressing issues of concern in the field of freedom of movement, establishment of cooperation in the area of road and rail transport, as well as politically motivated criminal cases opened in the Republic of Moldova against Pridnestrovian citizens.

Priority was given to issues related to the delivery of import cargo to Pridnestrovie by rail. During a briefing for the media on the results of the meeting Acting Foreign Minister of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev said that from 2004 to 2015 there was a scheme that allows to import and move around the territory of the republic import cargo by the rolling stock of the state unitary enterprise “Pridnestrovian Railway”, but this mechanism was unilaterally changed by Moldova and Ukraine, by virtue of which, according to the head of the Foreign Ministry of the PMR, today economic agents of the republic, as well as the Pridnestrovian Railway experience losses, which, according to estimates, may amount to US $ 4.5 million in 2016.

“We have identified the problem as a priority. Pridnestrovie sent to Moldovan colleagues sent a draft of the additional protocol containing a new technological scheme developed by Pridnestrovian experts. It seems that it would allow in a fair optimal way to deliver goods to Pridnestrovie using the Pridnestrovian rolling stock. In fact, this proposal of Pridnestrovie fully complies with the Protocol decision on railway communication, signed in 2012. We hope that the Moldovan side and Ukrainian partners will take into account Pridnestrovie’s proposal,” said Vitaly Ignatiev.

According to the head of the Foreign Ministry of Pridnestrovie, the representative on political issues from Kishinev informed that the initiatives of Pridnestrovie were sent to Moldovan relevant experts, however he found it difficult to give possible date of the meeting of expert (working) groups on rail transport from Pridnestrovie and Moldova. The Pridnestrovian side proposed to hold the meeting of experts as soon as possible, in the period from 9 to 11 March.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, Vitaly Ignatiev said that the Pridnestrovian side sent to the Moldovan representatives another comprehensive proposal: a draft Protocol Decision on cooperation in the transport sector, which would resolve a number of problems in the field of both freight and passenger transport. The document, according to the diplomat, was sent also to all participants in the 5+2 format.

 “As part of today's meeting, the Pridnestrovian side proposed to determine the exact date of the meeting of relevant expert (working) groups in order to exchange views on Pridnestrovie’s proposal. Unfortunately, the Moldovan side again evaded determining the specific date of the meeting,” stated the acting minister. However, in the course of the dialogue the parties agreed that the meeting of expert (working) groups should take place in the near future.

The 1+1 meeting also discussed the problematics of politically motivated prosecution of officials, businessmen and ordinary citizens of Pridnestrovie in Moldova. “Evidence suggests that the prosecution of Pridnestrovians in Moldova is avalanche-like, this practice creates problems for people, violated their inalienable rights and freedoms, and requires the most rapid elaboration,” said Vitaly Ignatiev. According to him, the Pridnestrovian side has not yet received from the Moldovan colleagues the reliable information about the number of politically motivated criminal cases opened in the RM. The fact that the representatives of Pridnestrovian authorities, who are directly involved in the work of the expert (working) groups, are prosecuted in Moldova is an extremely negative factor, said the head of the PMR MFA. The print publication of the PMR Foreign Ministry “Instrument to put pressure on Pridnestrovie in Moldovan-Pridnestrovian settlement: politically motivated prosecution of Pridnestrovian citizens by Moldova” was given to all participants of the meeting.

 “We hope that the Moldovan side will show a responsible attitude to this matter, since the solution of this problem is the most important factor that will contribute to the normalization of dialogue and confidence-building atmosphere,” the diplomat noted.

 During the meeting, the Pridnestrovian side officially handed over to the RM representative on political issues, as well as representatives of mediators and observers a proposal to address another urgent problem in the Moldovan-Pridnestrovian relations connected with the refusal of the Moldovan side to execute the Protocol on mutual recognition of validity on the territory of Pridnestrovie and Moldova of the documents issued by competent bodies of the parties of May 16, 2001.

 “Today Moldova's political representative agreed on the whole to work in this direction. We hope that in the course of further contacts we are able to give an impetus to cooperation in this matter, as the Protocol, signed in 2001, unfortunately, is not observed by the Moldovan side, which creates serious problems for Pridnestrovie and Moldova’s citizens,” said Vitaly Ignatiev.

The Pridnestrovian representative on political issues also drew the attention of Moldovan colleagues to inadmissibility to use restrictions and illegitimate demands of representatives of law enforcement agencies of Moldova, imposed on citizens when crossing the RM border. “Such actions indicate non-compliance of the Moldovan side with agreements in the negotiation process, are contrary to the Protocol decision “On some aspects of the freedom of movement ...”. Today, our citizens are actually forced to obtain Moldovan documents through the methods of intimidation, psychological pressure,” said Vitaly Ignatiev.

Summing up the meeting, the head of the Foreign Ministry of the PMR noted that today's agenda has accumulated a set of problematic issues which resolution requires “to roll up sleeves and to set to consistent, systematic and meaningful work”. “Progress in the dialogue will depend on how effectively we communicate at the level of political representatives, expert groups. So far we have seen only the Moldovan side’s declarations. I hope that they can be turned into concrete results”, concluded the diplomat.

It is expected that the next meeting of representatives on political issues will be held as early as next week.