The meeting of the Collegium of the PMR Foreign Ministry, dedicated to summing up the results of 2019, was timed to the Day of the diplomatic worker. The keynote speaker was the Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev. He informed the meeting participants about the foreign policy situation last year, noting a significant number of risks, threats, challenges and trials faced by Pridnestrovian diplomacy and the republic as a whole. He drew attention to the growing attention from international politicians of high rank. OSCE Chairman-in-Office Miroslav Lajcak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu and numerous representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Europe visited Pridnestrovie in 2019.
The minister devoted the bulk of the report to the situation in the negotiation process. Vitaly Ignatiev recalled that the neighboring state not only failed to comply with the package agreements reflected in the Berlin Protocol (2016), Vienna Protocol (2017) and Rome Protocol (2018) of “5 + 2” meetings, but also defiantly disrupted the signing of the final protocol of the Bratislava meeting on October 9-10, 2019. Speaking about the non-randomness of facts that water down the negotiation structure, the PMR Foreign Minister cited a number of examples. One of them is related to Moldova’s refusal to comply with the 2017 agreements related to the telecommunications issue. The representative of Moldova recently called the annex to the relevant document (a kind of “roadmap”) “waste paper”, despite the fact that at one time he personally participated in its development and signed this document.
Vitaly Ignatiev spoke about political and diplomatic measures taken by the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry. He outlined the main events significant for the foreign policy of the republic. He focused on attracting independent international experts to work in such areas as import of medicines, protection of personal data, and the banking sector. According to Vitaly Ignatiev, despite all the difficulties, the Pridnestrovian diplomats managed to ensure the negotiation process is operational in the reporting period.
The minister devoted part of the report to the Pridnestrovian -Russian relations, emphasizing that Russia remains the key strategic partner of Pridnestrovie. Vitaly Ignatiev spoke about the regularity of contacts between the leadership of the PMR and the foreign ministry of the republic with representatives of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Federation Council of the State Duma and other government bodies of Russia. He paid particular attention to the economic interaction of the two countries, noting the growth in mutual trade indicators. He considers the opening of the Contact Center for Cooperation with Rossotrudnichestvo to be an important achievement in the field of cultural and humanitarian cooperation last summer. The Minister called the opening of the PMR Official Representative Office in Moscow, a platform by means of which 26 round tables and expert discussions were held during the year, and 985 Pridnestrovian citizens were received.
Cooperation of Pridnestrovie with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh was assessed by the PMR Foreign Minister as stably dynamic. Vitaly Ignatiev called the cancellation of economic sanctions imposed in 2018 on the Moldavian Metallurgical Plant OJSC a practical result of interaction with Ukrainian colleagues, noting that bilateral cooperation was established in various areas and channels. Talking about contacts with representatives of foreign countries and international organizations, Vitaly Ignatiev called systematic the interaction with the UN. Vitaly Ignatiev put an increased focus on the meeting of diplomats from 13 countries held in June 2019 in Pridnestrovie.
Informing participants about the results of activities in the consular legal direction, Vitaly Ignatiev said that over the year, the PMR Ministry of Foreign Affairs received 322 appeals regarding the procedure for entering and staying in the territory of the PMR, returning to the homeland, obtaining citizenship of the PMR and the Russian Federation, registration of maternity capital. 3445 applications related to the legalization of documents.
An important component of the activities of the PMR Foreign Ministry is the preparation of print media. The work was carried out in 2019 on the development of two parts of the “Golden Collection of the Best Places of Pridnestrovie” and the preparation of the updated publication “Bendery Fortress. A Living Symbol of History".
Concluding his speech, the Minister thanked his colleagues for their work and congratulated them on their professional holiday.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov took part in the work of the Collegium of the PMR Foreign Ministry. He focused on the recent visit of the Pridnestrovian delegation led by the PMR President to Moscow, emphasizing that it coincided with the implementation of large-scale changes in the leadership of the executive branch of Russia and heated discussions of the proposals of the Head of the Russian state on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. According to the diplomat, the changes are intended, inter alia, to protect Russian citizens from the implementation of decisions of interstate bodies that contradict the Basic Law of Russia. Oleg Vasnetsov announced the work of a specially created group of experts, the final proposal of which will be submitted to a nationwide discussion, the participants of which should become, according to the ambassador, and the Russians living in Pridnestrovie.
The diplomat emphasized that Russian diplomacy was not used to retreat from difficulties: this is confirmed by history. As an example, Oleg Vasnetsov recalled the activities of Soviet diplomats during the Great Patriotic War, which created the necessary conditions for the formation of the anti-Hitler coalition. Oleg Vasnetsov talked about the price of Victory and that we must not forget how fragile the world is. He called the “5 + 2” format the only effective platform for moving along the path of its resolution. Oleg Vasnetsov considers the main thing today to be the implementation of previously reached agreements on the entire spectrum of confidence-building measures. He assured that Russian diplomacy in general and the embassy in particular will continue to make efforts for the successful implementation of the peacekeeping operation for the sake of peace and security on earth.
The Russian ambassador congratulated Pridnestrovian colleagues on the Day of diplomatic worker. Congratulations were also voiced by the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Abkhazia in the PMR, Alexander Vataman.
The PMR President took part in the work of the Collegium of the PMR Foreign Ministry. Having listened to the report of the Minister and speeches of the meeting participants, Vadim Krasnoselsky outlined his vision of the foreign policy situation. He recalled that exactly a year ago, in the course of a similar reporting discussion, different numbers sounded and different atmosphere reigned, reflecting the effectiveness of the negotiation process. The President focused on the activities of the “Permanent Meeting ...” format, its participants, the principles of formation and work. He emphasized that the main burden rests with political representatives and teams of expert (working) groups. A decrease in their activity negatively affects the efficiency of the negotiation process, said Vadim Krasnoselsky, recalling statistics: 86 expert meetings were held in 2018, only 20 in 2019; political representatives 25 times met in 2018, a year later - only three times. As a result, the agenda was not worked out, the signing of the final documents was failed. According to Vadim Krasnoselsky, the Moldovan side deliberately escalate the situation and disrupts the implementation of the agreements reached in the fruitful from the point of view of the effectiveness of the negotiation process in 2017-2018. Calling Moldova a difficult negotiator, the PMR President noted that from time to time the neighbors still have some pragmatism, but today we have to admit the degradation of the negotiation process and the collapse of confidence in the Moldovan side. Vadim Krasnoselsky focused in detail on the history of the Pridnestrovian-Moldavian relations, starting with the prerequisites for the creation of the PMR. He devoted a significant part of his speech to the participation of the Soviet people in the Second World War and to how the memory of his exploit is treated in different countries. Vadim Krasnoselsky noted with regret that very little attention is paid to this fact by the international community and, in particular, by the Russian media.
PMR President spoke of Russian peacekeeping, emphasizing that its history began not thirty years ago, as many believe, but in distant Suvorov times. The PMR President spoke about other aspects of the Pridnestrovian-Russian interaction, expressing gratitude to Russia as a strategic partner. Vadim Krasnoselsky spoke about the strength and development in recent years of the economic ties of the two countries, the growing export of Pridnestrovie in the Russian direction. At the same time, the President noted that there are issues that remain relevant and require resolution. We are talking about a simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship by Pridnestrovians, applying maternity capital in the territory of the PMR, and receiving Pridnestrovian Russians' certificate of medical insurance.
Vadim Krasnoselsky asked the Russian ambassador to convey his gratitude to the leadership and all the people of the Russian Federation for the support provided to Pridnestrovie. He thanked the representatives of the diplomatic corps of the republic and their foreign colleagues for their work and congratulated them on their professional holiday.