Meeting of Representatives on Political Issues of Moldova and Pridnestrovie in Tiraspol


The regular meeting of representatives on political issues of the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie Vitaly Ignatiev and Victor Osipov was held in the Tiraspol office of the OSCE Mission.

During the meeting, the participants focused on the discussion of topical issues of concern on the agenda proposed by the Pridnestrovian side. In particular, they touched again on the problematic aspects related to the ban on crossing the Moldovan-Ukrainian border by vehicles registered in Pridnestrovie, and to the politically motivated prosecution of the inhabitants of Pridnestrovie, including in the context of the custody of the Interior Ministry’s official of the PMR Maksim Kuzmichev in the Hellenic Republic.

In his comments to journalists on discussion of the issues related to the ban introduced by Moldova on crossing the Moldovan-Ukrainian border by Pridnestrovian vehicles, Vitaly Ignatiev reminded that at the meeting of expert (working) groups on the development of transport and road facilities held on 2 October, 2015 the Pridnestrovian side had called on Moldovan colleagues to impose a moratorium on the ban until the development of a systematic mechanism of settlement of the problem. Then, it should be reminded, the head of the Moldovan working group had made a commitment to promptly inform higher officials about Pridnestrovie’s proposal.

“Today, we have asked Mr. Osipov to announce his position on the possibility of introducing such a moratorium. The Moldovan side has said that at the level of the government of Moldova this possibility is considered and is not taken off from the agenda. Besides, the Moldovan colleagues also have a certain vision of an integrated solution to the problem. Unfortunately, the discussion on this matter has failed to be more substantive,”- said the diplomat. However, he stresses that Pridnestrovie deems it necessary to introduce the moratorium mentioned above as promptly as possible, what would significantly reduce the degree of tension on the matter.

Considerable attention was paid to the need for stepping up the activity of the expert (working) groups of the parties in the context of prospects for the resolution of a number of topical issues of bilateral cooperation. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Vitaly Ignatiev said the Pridnestrovian side proposed to hold a working meeting of experts on termination of criminal cases, which would allow to discuss the possible mechanism of solving the problem of politically motivated prosecution of Pridnestrovian citizens in the Republic of Moldova. “Pridnestrovie has come forward with the initiative of preparing the relevant joint instruction of political representatives of the parties to the relevant experts to intensify the work in this direction. Unfortunately, Mr. Osipov is not ready to provide an answer regarding this initiative designed to  involve the full potential of experts and political representatives,” - explained the diplomat, noting that the issue of continued detention of the Pridnestrovian militiaman Maksim Kuzmichev in prison of Athens is a consequence of self-removal of the Moldovan side from the solution of the problem.

During the meeting, Pridnestrovie also launched an initiative to develop a legal mechanism that would allow the PMR’s citizens deported from Moldova to return home for permanent residence. Representative on political issues of the Republic of Moldova Victor Osipov supported the proposal of the Pridnestrovian side. It was decided to entrust the development of the mechanism to the expert (working) groups on issues of regulatory and document support of citizens. “Trying to orient these people solely on the law of the Republic of Moldova is counterproductive. We consider it possible to find a compromise mechanism within the framework of expert groups, which would enable people to effectively ensure their rights and interests. The Moldovan side has expressed its agreement with this approach,”- stressed Vitaly Ignatiev.

According to the head of the Foreign Ministry, during the meeting the political representatives also agreed to entrust to subject matter experts to analyze the nature of the implementation of the Protocol “On the mutual recognition of operation on the territory of Pridnestrovie and Moldova of the documents issued by the competent authorities of the Parties” of 16 May 2001, which is not currently being executed by Moldova. Vitaly Ignatiev expressed the view that the elaboration of an updated agreement “will remove a significant amount of negative impacts on the lives of citizens of Moldova and Pridnestrovie.”

On the proposal of the OSCE the meeting also provisionally discussed the parameters of the organization of the annual conference on confidence-building measures, which may take place in Bavaria at the end of this month. Representatives on political issues of the parties agreed provisionally on the agenda of the Conference conditioned by the need to develop practical solutions in a number of topical areas, including the introduction of the moratorium on the ban on movement of Pridnestrovian vehicles.