Vitaly Ignatiev: Joint control of Moldova and Ukraine established on the Pridnestrovian border will question the effectiveness of the negotiation process


The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR commented on the results of the Odessa discussion on the inadmissibility of joint Moldovan-Ukrainian control at the Kuchurgan checkpoint

Today, on 10 March 2017, EUBAM headquarters in Odessa hosted discussions on problematic issues in connection with the intentions of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to establish joint customs and border control at the Kuchurgan checkpoint. Pridnestrovie was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vitaly Ignatiev, Minister of Economic Development of the PMR Sergei Obolonik, as well as the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the PMR Vitaly Niagu. Upon returning from Odessa, the participants of the Pridnestrovian delegation talked with media representatives on the territory of the Pervomaisk checkpoint.

According to Vitaly Ignatiev, representatives of the European Union expressed their readiness to hear the Pridnestrovie’s position on the issues of joint customs-border control of Moldova and Ukraine for the first time in a long time. In this context, the PMR’s MFA stressed that the vision of the Pridnestrovian side on this issue remains unchanged.

“We took advantage of this opportunity to identify all the problematic aspects once again. We view the plans of Moldova and Ukraine as a very serious threat of destabilization of both the economic situation and, in principle, the free movement of citizens and vehicles. In addition, this problem is associated with security threats. We do not see any logical motivation for establishing joint control, because neither in the sphere of economy and trade, nor in the field of free movement, will there be positive results. There are very significant complex negative effects, including problems of a political nature, because these plans and decisions are made behind the Pridnestrovie’s back and beyond the negotiation process” – the diplomat said.

Talking to the press, Vitaly Ignatiev emphasized that in the event of joint Moldovan-Ukrainian control at the Kuchurgan checkpoint some agreements of the negotiation process will be violated, including provisions of the Berlin Protocol stating that all decisions must be taken exclusively at the negotiating table. At the same time, according to the Minister, no one question posed by the Pridnestrovian side at the meeting received a reasoned response of the Moldovan representatives. “We were told “we are ready to conduct a dialogue”, but in essence in regards to those problems that we identified with concrete calculations on the numbers of losses, including the GDP of Pridnestrovie, Moldovan representatives have brought forward no rational arguments explaining what will change for the better” – said Vitaly Ignatiev.

The Head of the PMR’s Foreign Ministry also stressed that special attention should be paid to the possible consequences of a political nature. “The project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union and with active participation of Ukraine, which is the mediator in the negotiation process. Therefore, in the future, if these destructive plans are implemented, it will be hard to speak about the effectiveness of the negotiation format structure in general. I think that it is necessary to pay attention to these signals by the Pridnestrovian side. There is no need to have any additional information to understand that the problem will have a negative impact on people’s living standards, which is fundamentally contrary to the goals and objectives of the negotiation process, does not correlate with confidence-building measures, and generally does not help to improve the interaction between the parties” – said Vitaly Ignatiev. Saying that, the diplomat stressed that the Ukrainian delegation did not participate in the meeting, despite the place of its holding.

Summing up the results of the meeting, Vitaly Ignatiev noted the need to discuss the situation at the level of the negotiation process. According to the diplomat, Pridnestrovie will keep calling on international guarantors and mediators in the form of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the OSCE in order to prevent negative consequences from this “rash act”.

“It seems to me that it is obvious to all that there are political motives hidden behind these plans and, in my opinion, an attempt to come up with some economic justification for them is failing. We will talk about this with our Russian colleagues in the near future and we look forward to the arrival of our Ukrainian partners. We would like to receive a clear position of Ukraine, to understand how such actions relate to the status of the guarantor country. Our task is not to let the situation worsen. The principle “do no harm” should be applied here. It is necessary to approach the solution of the issue with the utmost caution, putting people’s interests at the center, first of all” – stated Vitaly Ignatiev.