The Head of Pridnestrovian MFA, “Issues from the Third Basket Won’t Be under Discussion during Negotiations in Lvov”

The Head of Pridnestrovian MFA, “Issues from the Third Basket Won’t Be under Discussion during Negotiations in Lvov”

Deputy Chairperson of the Government of the PMR on Issues of International Cooperation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nina Shtanski commented on February 13 for IA REGNUM on prospects for participation of the Pridnestrovian side in Lvov meeting on settlement of the Moldovan- Pridnestrovian conflict. According to the statements of Kishinev, provisional agenda arranged in Kiev, includes discussion of issues from three negotiating “baskets” – it contradicts the official agenda of the negotiation process:

“In accordance with principles and procedures agreed in Vienna and which form the guideline for negotiations in the “5+2” format (Moldova and Pridnestrovie – parties to the conflict, Russia and Ukraine – guarantors and mediators, the OSCE – a mediator, the EU and the USA – observers, note of IA REGNUM), the agenda draft shall be sent to all participants by the Chairmanship. It is to be noticed that the Ukrainian Chairmanship has announced the title of this document as “Provisional Agenda for Lvov Meetings” for the first time. Such a provisional agenda was discussed in Kishinev and Tiraspol by Andrey Deshchitsa, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Protracted Conflicts who has come for this purpose. During the meeting with him the Pridnestrovian party once again expressed its position concerning the agenda for meetings in the “5+2” format. We pointed out the issues that are to be discussed within the forthcoming meeting as we consider. We have officially sent these proposals on January 31 to all participants of the “5+2” format. The knot of the matter are issues that were already discussed in 2012 but were, unfortunately, left without settlement: freedom of movement, issues of foreign trade activities, issues on telecommunication, broadcasting and a number of other socio-economical issues.

Speaking about definition of provisional agenda by the Chairmanship as it was frequently made in 2012, we were offered this time to divide issues in three baskets. We regard this approach as unacceptable because according to the approved and agreed agenda of the negotiation process, the so-called third basket is not charged with the content in view of the fact that the parties failed to reach consensus on issues that could be included there. Based on the fact that the basket is unfilled, we believe that none of the participants in the negotiations can charge it unilaterally at its discretion. According to the principles and procedures, unilateral actions are in violation of the agreed cooperation mechanism within the “5+2” format.

During consultations in Tiraspol Andrey Deshchitsa, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office heard position of the Pridnestrovian side and assured us that the Ukrainian Chairmanship is not intended to put pressure on the parties compelling them to discuss certain issues. Ukrainian approach is reflected in the fact that the discussion should be held only on those matters that were approved to be considered by both sides. Pridnestrovie highly appreciates such an approach and regards it as a productive one. Pridnestrovie believes that this will make the communication within the “5+2” format more effective and efficient with regard to practical decision-making on issues that were discussed by the parties during the year following the resumption of formal negotiations.

It should be noted that the approach of the Ukrainian side was also voiced by Andrey Deshchitsa during his meeting with the President of the PMR Yevgeny Shevchuk. We are grateful to the Ukrainian Chairmanship for wise and balanced approach to the prior approval of issues that are planned to be discussed and we hope that the meeting in Lvov on February 18-19 will give a new impetus to the active and effective cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie.”