Comment by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR to the First Republican Channel Regarding Inquiry of Deputies

Comment by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR to the First Republican Channel Regarding Inquiry of Deputies

On May 16, 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Nina Shtanski made comments to the First Republican TV channel on interaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR with Supreme Soviet of Pridnestrovie, expert groups' work, and also touched upon issues relating to organization of the negotiation process between Moldova and Pridnestrovie.

Foreign Ministry Welcomes Cooperation with Supreme Soviet

Responding to the question on the attitude of the PMR's MFA to the deputies' inquiry regarding the results of consultations in the framework of the Permanent Conference in the 5+2 format, Nina Shtanski marked that attention which parliamentarians decided to devote to foreign policy is a good sign, as long as during four months MFA has not received any recommendations from a relevant parliamentary commission. At the same time, the Minister pointed out that “the major part of delegations arriving in our Republic outlines separate issues here, in PMR's foreign office, and as a rule then goes to the meeting with parliamentarians”.

 The diplomat expressed opinion that Supreme Soviet may see some positions differently than the Foreign Ministry – in this case it could send corresponding proposals to the foreign political office. “Alas, I regret that such interaction has not been established yet,” Nina Shtanski told.

As regards the inquiry of deputies, the Minister expressed surprise that deputies ask about the signed document. “Document on Principles and Procedures which had been for a long time communicated between Moldova and Pridnestrovie was finally agreed upon in Vienna, and we broadly informed the public about this. We informed also via TV channels, and TV viewers could get this information. We posted corresponding releases on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in newspapers. And all our reports say that the document had been agreed upon,” the Minister stressed. She told that now, according to accepted procedures, this document shall be signed. “Unfortunately, international practice does not know such precedents when an unsigned document is made public or officially published. This is exactly why it is not published. Meanwhile, we have received no inquiry from the Parliament, and in reality, I must admit, we did not know that the text of the documents provokes so much interest among the parliamentarians,” the diplomat told. She expressed readiness to submit the text of agreed principles and procedures. “It is not confidential, the more so as provisions of this document have already been agreed upon and the majority of these provisions was agreed upon as far back as in the previous year, that is during the first round of official negotiations which took place in Vilnius,” Nina Shtanski said.

Alerting Silence of Parliamentarians

The Minister advanced a remark towards parliamentarians in connection with the fact that their voice was not heard when careless interpretations of an agreed text of the document began to appear in Moldovan mass media. “For some reason, a relevant commission of the Supreme Soviet did not consider it necessary at that moment to make a statement and did not express its attitude to such unfairness of some of our Moldovan colleagues. This causes anxiety,” she said. As the diplomat told, silence of the parliamentarians regarding the agreed agenda also gives rise to concern. “Agenda was made public, on the official website of the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry including. Solution of socio-economic issues was defined there as one of the priorities. In my opinion, recommendations of the Parliament in this part could have been very useful for us. Alas, we did not receive them,” the Minister concluded.

Expert Groups: Solution of Practical Issues and Problems of Citizens

Commenting the criticism relating to the restarted work of expert groups of Pridnestrovie and Moldova, Nina Shtanski noted that procedural rules of expert groups were agreed upon earlier at Filat-Smirnov level with direct participation of ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pridnestrovie Vladimir Yastrebchak. “It seems to me that today we managed to turn these procedural rules into a working document. We managed to trigger the work of expert groups at quite dynamic level and this should be welcomed,” Nina Shtanski noted. She clarified that issues of education, healthcare, transport and other spheres are addressed by sectoral specialists, representatives of expert groups are not involved in policy-making and they do not discuss political issues. Moreover, it is specified that they should restrain from discussions of settlement aspects. They solve problems of concrete people. “Any criticism of this work seems to me a careless step, since today the work of expert groups is welcomed by our guarantors -Russia and Ukraine. It is backed up, we get assistance and we intend to continue this work,” Nina Shtanski stated.

Extending International Ties. Pridnestrovie Is not a Black Hole

As journalists of the First Republican TV channel think, deputies are concerned with the policy of openness conducted today by the Pridnestrovian MFA. Nina Shtanski agreed that Pridnestrovie willingly demonstrates its openness to the international community. “At all grounds we say that we wouldn't like it that one would learn about our life from the journalists who are not always good-minded,” the diplomat told. She recalled the incident with one of German TV and radio companies whose story contained frankly false information about Pridnestrovie. “Our foreign political agency exists among other things in order to give possibilities for foreign diplomats to get unbiased information about how Pridnestrovie lives and what problems we have and then to transmit it. During the meetings with foreign delegations we articulate interests of the Pridnestrovian people, we declare our rights. And I would like this interest to Pridnestrovie in the world to grow further, not to descend”, – Nina Shtanski noted. She stressed that there is still not quite adequate view on Pridnestrovie existing in the world and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to make efforts in order to get rid of image of Pridnestrovie as a black hole. “Today Pridnestrovie is very often severely limited in its possibilities and positions on the international arena. This is mostly our mistake because somewhere we did not do all we could on the diplomatic level. This mistakes I have to correct and I hope we will have better results”, ­– Minister said.

Negotiation Process

Minister also gave extended commentary on the work of Pridnestrovian diplomacy in format of Permanent Conference. She noted that during the round table which took place on May 15 at the Pridnestrovian State University under T.G. Shevchenko with participation of representatives of Russia, Ukraine and OSCE Russian diplomats gave highly appreciated the results which have been reached in process of consultations. She mentioned also that the process of agreement on the document on principles and procedures lasted for a long period of time and in order to sign it official Tiraspol is waiting for some clarifications from the Moldovan side. “As you know, some principles of this document, especially the principle of the equality of sides was for some reason and in some extend misinterpreted by our Moldovan colleagues. It forced us to make an official request to the political representative of Moldova Yevgeny Karpov. We asked how exactly the Moldovan side understands the principle of equality because Permanent representative of the Republic of Moldova in the OSCE stated as if now this principle can extend the authority of the EU and of the USA as observers which we find to be absurd. Though, Moldovan side did not make any refutations”, – Nina Shtanski said. Diplomat noted that the position of the PMR's MFA was supported by the Russian Federation. “There was respective statement made by the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We held political consultations about the negotiations with Sergey Gubarev and we are now expecting for the reaction of the Moldovan side. Of course, if we get no corresponding explanations, signing of document in its present form which was agreed upon, may be postponed. We have clear positions, we are defending them and we are not going to loose our persistence in making this document to be read in accordance with letter and spirit of the law”, – Minister stressed on.

On the Recalling of the Draft of the Law on Goals and Principles of the Negotiation Process with the Republic of Moldova

Nina Shtanski also touched upon the issue of the draft of the law On Goals and Principles of the Negotiation Process with the Republic of Moldova being recalled by the President. Minister noted that this bill have been worked out in 2011 in situation when negotiation process was broken off already. She stressed that both international actors and foreign political agency of Pridnestrovie made attempts to officialize consultations. “This bill was a case of need and an additional mechanism at that time in situation of pause in negotiations. Today, as you know, official work is resumed. There have been three rounds already. These were productive rounds of negotiations which received high estimation on high level in the Russian Federation, in Ukraine, in OSCE”, – diplomat noted. She stressed on the fact that many countries interested in developing relations with Pridnestrovie keep up attentively on the negotiation process. “It concerns economic agents, business, because estimation of our investment climate is made depending on how we act on international arena, on international level. That is why it is especially important for us to follow the existing agreements”, – diplomat said. She accentuated on the agreement already reached in format of Permanent Conference on the abstention of the sides from any unilateral steps and actions. “Adoption of the draft of the law On the negotiation process which was recalled today, could be understood as unilateral step of the Pridnestrovian side”, – Minister mentioned. Nina Shtanski explained that world practice does not know examples when international process is regulated by the legal framework of one of the sides which is taking part in this process. “I don't think that it could be possible to unambiguously estimate in the law how Pridnestrovian legal framework regulated status of Russia – the guarantor-State – in the negotiations. There are already signatures on behalf of Pridnestrovie put in the documents which already define such status. I think that bringing this issue to a head is not in our interests. It doesn't suit Pridnestrovie. Such discussion if it won't be conducted constructively will not improve our image”, – Nina Shtanski said. In this context Minister called for understanding from the MPs who are committed to defend interests of Pridnestrovian citizens and to solve their problems on different levels and in different fields just like diplomats.