Veniamin Potashev: I’m Sure that Pridnestrovie Will Finally Become a Part of Russia

Veniamin Potashev: I’m Sure that Pridnestrovie Will Finally Become a Part of Russia
Veniamin Potashev: I’m Sure that Pridnestrovie Will Finally Become a Part of Russia
Veniamin Potashev: I’m Sure that Pridnestrovie Will Finally Become a Part of Russia

The meeting of Veniamin Potashev and Oleg Savidov, the veterans of the OSTK (Joint Council of Workers' Associations), with the Council of Young Diplomats was held today in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR. Nina Shtanski, Deputy Head of Government of the PMR on Issues of International Cooperation, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR, Vitaly Ignatiev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PMR, Nadezhda Baranova, Chief of the Presidential Office of the PMR, and Irina Levitskaya, Head of the Department of Internal Policy of the Presidential Office of the PMR, also took part in the meeting.

The meeting was opened with a solemn awarding of the Order of Merit of the II-nd class to Veniamin Potashev. The veteran was awarded for the great contribution to development of the statehood of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, and strengthening of international relations. The Decree No. 763 was announced by Nadezhda Baranova, Chief of the Presidential Office of the PMR.   

Opening the meeting Nina Shtanski marked that the activity of the OSTK members was essential for Pridnestrovie early 1990s. They bore a great responsibility on their shoulders for the future life of Pridnestrovians. According to the Minister, the OSTK members were first diplomats, people's diplomats, and their main task was to convey the truth about situation in Moldavia and Pridnestrovie to society. “People's diplomats-pathfinders performed the work that we carry out in the present time. This experience is highly useful for us, because, unfortunately, its topicality remains up to the present day. The Republic meets today the same political challenges. That's why the value of such meetings cannot be exaggerated,” the Minister underlined.

Veniamin Potashev vividly narrated about the stress-filled period of demolition of the Soviet Union, sudden expansion of nationalism and about first steps of Pridnestrovie towards international recognition.

Remembering his life's journey Veniamin Potashev noted that he felt no difference after arrival with the family to Tiraspol from Russia. “You could commonly hear Russian speech, nobody paid attention to nationalities. I was amazed at the welfare of the Soviet Moldavia. So we took decision to stay here,” the OSTK veteran said. But the situation changed greatly after Perestroika had started.

The clamour in Pridnestrovie was excited by the adoption of the unfair Law on Languages in the Supreme Council of Moldavia. At that time Pridnestrovians realized that they are expected to become secondary people and they would be derogated from their rights. “People began to strike. “Striking Tiraspol” was published by the OSTK. Newspaper publishing was complicated and even dangerous. But the need to protect our rights, patriotism, and desire to live free in our land prevailed over any obstacles,” Oleg Savidov mentioned.

According to Veniamin Potashev the OSTK activists realized that it was necessary to break information blockade. The people's diplomat travelled around many regions of the Soviet Union speaking at forums, sessions meeting worker's associations, leaders of public organizations and political parties. And everywhere he told about situation with Russian-speaking population in Moldova. The OSTK veteran detailed to attendees his speech in Leningrad. “When I went up to the rostrum nobody knew about me and about Pridnestrovie. But during my speech about situation in our republic, about oppression of Russian-speaking people and about their position in the very Moldova the absolute silence fell. Everybody was all ears. Afterwards my speech was published in the “Leningradskaya pravda” newspaper.   

Veniamin Potashev told also about the atmosphere prevailing at those years in the Supreme Council of Moldova. The OSTK veteran mentioned that attending of meetings was really dangerous for life. “They pulled our hair, threw dirt in us and provoked us in every possible way as we left the building of the parliament. Despite all threatening Pridnestrovian deputies continued taking part in meetings in Kishinev. First of all it was necessary to support the Russians who lived in Moldova in worse conditions than Pridnestrovians on their territory. We had to maintain our attitudes and to protect our rights,” Veniamin Potashev said.

Drawing parallels with the present moment the people's diplomat expressed confidence that Pridnestrovie should be open to the outer world. “We must tell the truth about our Republic on different international platforms as much as possible. We have to visit Kishinev so that people knew about us and could maturely estimate current situation in Moldova,” Veniamin Potashev said. In this sense the OSTK veterans positively appraised the current policy of the leadership of the PRM and particularly the activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PMR. “The course towards Eurasian integration, unity with Russia affirmed at the all-people\'s referendum in 2006 form right direction that shall be rigorously followed while it is choice of the people,” the OSTK veterans mentioned.                 

During the conversation with young diplomats the guests wished them to combat the free and independent future of Pridnestrovie. “I'm sure that Pridnestrovie will finally become a part of Russia. Young people should actively forge relationships including contacts with youth of Moldova to prevent the implementation of the disastrous official policy of Kishinev,” the veteran emphasized.

Answering the questions of journalists after the meeting Nina Shtanski underlined appreciated value of such meetings. “Today young diplomats conversed not only with OSTK veterans and not only with people who created the Republic. Today they talked with the history. The main value of these meetings are advices given by the veterans to people whose activity will have an impact on the welfare of our Republic in the future,“ the Minister said. She also noted that positive attitude of the OSTK veterans to the external policy of Pridnestrovie is primarily the support of the course towards Eurasian integration and increasing complex interaction with the Russian Federation. “Today we have so to say compared notes with the history. We are moving the right track,” Nina Shtanski concluded.