17 Dec 2019 17:05

Moldova's chief negotiator on Transdniestria accuses counterpart from Tiraspol of irresponsibility

CHISINAU. Dec 17 (Interfax) - Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration and Chisinau's principal negotiator on Transdniestria Alexandru Flenchea has said that he does not consider his counterpart from Tiraspol, Transdniestrian Foreign Minister Vitalie Ignatiev, to be a responsible negotiator.

"I promised to tell you how my meeting with the negotiator from Tiraspol went yesterday, but unfortunately, I don't have a responsible counterpart at the moment. I stated that I would not pay too much attention to his arrogance and cynicism only because, unlike my dialogue partner, I swore on the constitution to defend democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms, as well as Moldova's integrity," Flenchea said on social media on Thursday.

"I understand that a deputy prime minister bears different responsibilities than an ordinary negotiator, and therefore I'll keep treating those who don't bear any responsibility, as well as their departure, leniently," he said.

Flenchea said he hoped that "Mr. Ignatiev will rise to meet the level of expectations the people living on both sides of the Dniester have."

"Otherwise, we will have to find a mature dialogue partner who knows how to put community interests above narrow and complex adolescent interests and frustrations," he said.

It was reported earlier that the only negotiating round on Transdniestrian settlement in the 5+2 format in 2019 took place in early October, and its participants did not sign any conclusive document. The parties also failed to agree on such a document at an informal conference on confidence-building measures along the banks of the Dniester River, which took place in Bavaria in early November. This was prompted by disagreements between Chisinau and Tiraspol concerning the inclusion of some provisions discussed in the protocol in Bratislava.

The Chisinau and Tiraspol negotiators held a round of negotiations at the office of the OSCE Mission in Chisinau in order to try to agree upon a protocol summing up the outcome of the Bratislava meeting. However, talks ended unproductively once more.

The Transdniestrian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that "the Chisinau representative refused to sign a proposed compromise-based version of the protocol." The ministry said the meeting in Chisinau went on for roughly six hours until late in the evening and sometimes involved raised voices. Tiraspol said Flenchea attempted to cut the meeting short several times and once even left, slamming the door, but he later came back.

Flenchea held a press conference before the meeting. He promised to make the outcome of the negotiations public after their conclusion late on Monday or on Tuesday morning. However, no press conference was called, the Moldovan Reintegration Bureau did not report anything about the outcome of the negotiations, and Flenchea confined himself to a social media post.