Igor Smirnov: Pridnestrovie Is Ready for Relations Normalisation with Moldova through Equal Dialogue of the Sides


On April 28, President of the PMR Igor Smirnov held a press-conference with focus on the situation in the Moldova-Pridnestrovie relations normalisation, and also on the results of his visits to Moscow and Kiev. Participating in the event were Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR Vladimir Yastrebchak, Minister of Information and Telecommunication  Vladimir Belyaev, Prosecutor of the PMR Anatoly Ghuretsky and Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the PMR Ghennady Stepankin.

The Head of the state notified the journalists that exactly 17 years ago, on April 28, 1994, a Joint Statement of the leaders of Moldova and Pridnestrovie was signed. In the document the sides expressed their commitment to resolving disputable issues “only through negotiations and exclusively by peaceful means based on mutual understanding and mutual concordance” and agreed “without delay and without preliminary conditions to start negotiation process on entire complex of issues of mutual interest”. The document was signed by Mirchey Snegur and Igor Smirnov in the presence of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova R. Samuel and Authorised Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador V. Vasev.

Touching upon the modern state of relations normalisation between Moldova and Pridnestrovie, Igor Smirnov paid attention to the fact that organs of power have not been thoroughly formed in Moldova so far, hence, talks about the resumption of a full-fledged negotiation process implying interaction of the sides at all levels of power are premature.

Internal political situation in Moldova, according to the President, can be indicative of the fact that “Moldova has no political prerequisites for the negotiation process with Pridnestrovie to be resumed.” “Instead of serious work, the Moldovan authorities speak about “sport diplomacy”, about resumption of the “5+2” format work, at the same time, in reality, they do nothing to resume the work of this format”, stressed Igor Smirnov.                     

President informed that socio-economic and political mechanisms for successful realisation of relations between Moldova and Pridnestrovie were created long ago, they exist in the form of documents signed earlier by the sides. But in order to give impetus to this process, political will of the sides is required. Igor Smirnov mentioned that exactly this was the purpose of forwarding an official invitation to Prime-Minister of Moldova Vlad Filat to visit Pridnestrovie in order to discuss at intergovernmental level issues of respect for human rights, regional commodity turnover, railway communication, as well as guarantees for fulfilling the reached and future accords. The Head of the state notified that Bendery was offered as a venue and 28th of April as a date for the meeting. Vladimir Filat gave no response to the proposal of the Pridnestrovien side. Igor Smirnov expressed regret for the fact that Moldova's current leadership prefers to deal with Tiraspol not directly but via press. In his words, this tactics was borrowed from the arsenal of Moldova's ex-President Vladimir Voronin.

Igor Smirnov emphasised that Pridnestrovie is always ready to conduct equitable dialogue with Moldova, yet, Kishinev is not ready for this even after 17 years since the start of the negotiations.

Igor Smirnov informed, the issue of resuming the negotiation process between Kishinev and Tiraspol was touched in the course of official meetings in Moscow and Kiev. The Head of the state didn't eliminate the possibility for certain decisions to be worked out before long in order to create conditions for the resumption of the official work of the 5+2 format. “This, however, requires real work, not its imitation”, said the President. He also stressed that Tiraspol is not going to conduct negotiations about Prednestrovie's status as part of Moldova. In this connection, Igor Smirnov mentioned Referendum of September 17, 2006, when Pridnestrovien people spoke in favour of independence, stating that authorities cannot go against the will of the people. Hence, negotiations with Moldova can be devoted only to normalization of relations through equal dialogue of the sides.

Touching upon the results of his trip to Moscow, Igor Smirnov informed about his meetings with Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Sergey Naryshkin and the Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. During the meeting the questions of the Russian activity in Pridnestrovie, including the aspects of regional security, were discussed. Igor Smirnov notified that during the meeting he had passed the letter to Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev. The letter contains Pridnestrovien viewpoint on priority areas of joint work with Russia. According to Smirnov, such areas include the questions of public health and social protection, economy and simplified access of the Pridnestrovien goods to the Russian markets. The Russian side also received a proposal to give Pridnestrovie support in improving Pridnestrovien people's living. Head of state pointed that “clear-cut statements were received from the Russian side regarding the fact that Moscow will continue rendering diverse assistance to Pridnestrovie”.

In Kiev Pridnestrovien President met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishenko. Igor Smirnov informed that apart from the problems, connected with Moldo-Pridnestrovien relations normalization, the questions of bilateral interaction of Ukraine and Pridnestrovie were also discussed during the meeting.

Igor Smirnov stated that all the participants of the negotiation process, including those who represent the European Union, support the creation of conditions, which can favour the improvement of people's living and the development of economy in this region of Europe. The President announced that the customs regulations, accepted in 2006, bring harm not only to Pridnestrovie, but also to Ukraine. The solution of the problem of the lack of direct correspondent relations between Ukrainian and Pridnestrovien banks has been long overdue.

This leads to the situation, when all payments are made through the banks of the third countries, and this influences the costs of the consumers. The question of Ukrainian recognition of the Pridnestrovien documents remains unsolved. Consequently, the Ukrainian citizens, who live in Pridnestrovie, are deprived of the possibility to receive archival extracts and other documents in Ukrainian state organizations, and this is the violation of human rights. Igor Smirnov elucidated, that the questions, which were discussed during the meeting with Konstantin Grishenko, are stated in address forwarded to the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

During the press-conference, Igor Smirnov also answered the questions of journalists concerning economic and internal political life of the Pridnestrovien Moldavian Republic.