29 November 2015
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The Article of State Secretary - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Grigory Karasin "Mission possible," published in "Rossiyskaya Gazeta", July 23, 2012

The history of civil confrontation in several former Soviet republics in the 90s of last century, the consequences of nationalists’ entering the political arena, tragedies accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union keep exciting the society, and are still analyzed by political scientists and historians.

The July war on the Dniester in 1992 is not exception. It broke out as a consequence of the inability of central authorities in Chisinau, manipulated by radicals, to consolidate the society. Republic of Moldova lost its territorial integrity and civil unity. The unacceptable price that they had to pay for adventurism, were broken lives, suffering and loss of thousands lives.

The debates about the causes of those events did not subside. They express shill judgments. Despite the multitude of conflicting estimations, the principal political motives for the transdniester conflict are easily understood decades later. The basis for the formation of opposing forces on the Dniester is confirmed by the realities of today. The slogans of the radical nationalists on the right bank of the Dniester, denying Moldovan identity and upholding the union with Romania, sound like a dividing factor in society. For Transdniester people the desire for self-determination, rights of Moldovans living here, Russians, Ukrainians, and other ethnic groups do not lose uniting importance.

Shock suffered by the top leadership of Moldova due to the disastrous events in summer 1992, predetermined the search of urgent solution. The solution was found with the signing on July 21, 1992 in Moscow by the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the President of Republic of Moldova the "Agreement on the principles of peaceful settlement of armed conflict in the Transdniestrian region of Moldova." The Russian Federation turned to be that trustworthy partner who since the independence of Republic of Moldova not once was able to demonstrate through words and deeds the commitment to its stability consolidation and support the effort to build a democratic, legal state, and readiness to multiply the traditions of age-old friendship.

The fact of the fire cessation, invited new victims and violence seemed to override all the doubts in the historical significance of the agreement with the Russian Federation. However, opponents doubting the wisdom of the Agreement continue to put forward new arguments. The aim is to prove that the document is outdated; obligations under this document require revision.

The arguments are general. They were expressed and for other conflicts in the CIS. We were told that Russia assumed the key role in peacekeeping operations, taking advantage of the weakness of local authorities. We were convinced that maintaining the status quo, "connives at the separatists." There is no need to talk about the traditional attempts to discredit peacekeeping due to its incompatibility with the patterns of the UN international operations.

Now we can only invite opponents to return to the heart of the Russian-Moldovan document signed in 1992. It is without doubt unique in content, since performed several tasks at once.

From the perspective of the military aspects of the conflict in Transnister, the agreement formalized commitment to the cease fire of hostilities sides against each other. The parameters of security zone control have been defined as well.

In terms of a political settlement it gave the start of solving the conflict through peaceful, political means, with the participation of international mediators, meant by negotiators at that time as the forces of the CIS and the mediation proactive establishments of the CSCE.

Introduction into the text of the detailed obligations of conflicting parties reflected the Russian leadership's firm belief that the current situation, hardening of an attitude after the bloodshed in Bender 19 - June 20, 1992 makes it impossible to conduct business related to Transnistria, without the participation of its representatives.
Finally, of the agreement affected an important aspect of the Russian-Moldovan relations concerning the status of the 14th Army and the prospects for its phased withdrawal from the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

After Boris Yeltsin and M. Snegur endorsed by signatures the agreement, negotiations on this matter have already begun next month. They were continued with a clear understanding that the problem must comply with the parallel forward-thinking, informed decisions of Moldova leadership, aimed at the conflict settlement.

Actually all clauses of the agreement in their interrelation laid the basis of the strategic partnership of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova, which has been emphasized by the two countries’ leaders by official exchange and personal meetings.

The main thing that determines the relevance of the existing peacekeeping operation established by agreement is the mandate, which includes the implementation of the security zone military administration regime, the maintenance stability in the region and creation of conditions for continuing negotiations on the conflict settlement.

In the absence of clear agreement on the formulation for the Transnistrian special, reliably guaranteed status, what is the purpose of negotiations; the talk about the operation reformatting does not make sense.

On the Moldovan side, today it would consider the base for negotiating the Law of the Republic of Moldova from 2005 on the main provisions of the legal status of the region. The Moldovan legislature determined that the dialogue is possible only with loyal to Chisinau, demilitarized, and democratized administration of Transnistria on the basis of constitutional provisions for a unitary state.
No matter what forces would ensure the autonomy of the "settlements on the left bank of the Dniester," according with logic of such settlement only coercion would be possible. Taking into account the moods of Transnistrians, which don’t accept unilateral solutions imposed from outside, it's predictable, that a conflict returns to the "hot phase".

Weighted mediation diplomacy of Russia, which became an expression of the spirit and language of Agreement on the principles of peaceful settlement of armed conflict in the Transdniestrian region of Republic of Moldova, was effective to give the parties an opportunity to clarify intents and continue the political dialogue. This impulse allowed after 1992 not only defuse recurring tensions in the region, but also to form a multilevel structure of the bilateral agreements of the conflicting parties.

The following ten years passed by them were not easy. The domestic political pressure and impact of adverse external economic factors affected the situation. Nevertheless, he saw further growth in Chisinau and Tiraspol responsibility for reaching specific agreements, development of an integrated concept of the progressive move towards a compromise.

The dynamics of negotiations and legal registration of "common spaces" of the political, economic and humanitarian cooperation, declared in 1997 intention to build a common state and become a mutual guarantors of full and undoubted implementation of their own agreements, preparation in 2003 the Memorandum on the fundamental principles of mechanism of united state impress, leave hope that the power for a political settlement remains.

It is wrong to compare the achievements with today's circumstances of the negotiation process in a linear dimension. But taking into consideration the problems of last 10 years, arisen recently risks of destabilizing and undermining the confidence of the conflicting parties, the Agreement on the principles of peaceful settlement of armed conflict in the Transdniestrian region of Republic of Moldova, the mechanisms of coherent collaboration of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces, Ukrainian observers have proved their effectiveness and importance. The emphasis of peacekeeping on early conflict prevention and scheme of its realization with participation of the Moldovan and Transnistrian troops of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces provide a reliable supply of its power. Great importance has peacekeepers’ professional experience of estimating and management of the situation in the responsibility sphere upon contact with local authorities, the interaction with national mediators, observers from the OSCE, social organizations, and citizens.

In the days when the 20th anniversary of peacekeeping operations on the Dniester is celebrated, we shall express the gratitude to the Russian militaries involved in carrying out the entrusted to them responsible mission fully conforming to the status of Russia as a mediator and a guarantor in the transnistrian settlement. Created in this respect conditions for such diplomatic works on solving complex problems is an important contribution to consolidation of relations with the people of the Republic of Moldova and to regional and European stability.


28.11.2015 - Bonds forged by the great game of football can help defeat terrorism (by Consul General Andrey Prisepov for Herald Scotland)

Two weeks ago, we all followed a rather special football game at Wembley: England playing France just days after the attacks in Paris. The innocent victims of these inhuman assaults were remembered with dignity and poignant tribute was paid by players and supporters. Thousands of people shared their passion for the great game and, equally, showed their compassion in a manifestation of unity and solidarity. Once again football embodied human spirit and an affirmation of life. History has numerous examples of what seems to be the inherent qualities of the game. Herald readers may have watched the 1980s film Escape to Victory starring Michael Caine. In the movie, allied prisoners of war play football against their Nazi guards, knowing they will be shot should they win.

26.11.2015 - Ambassador Yakovenko responds to Russian media question on Britain's renewed National Security Strategy

Question: The recent announcement by the British Government of the outcome of its 5-year Review of the National Security Strategy has attracted a lot of criticism. Russia features prominently in some key provisions of the document. What could you say on that? Answer: I'll start with Russia's place in it. Unfortunately, we witness what I would call inertia of the rhetoric, that is no longer reflective of the reality, which has been evolving fast. Still, it is now less categorical and diffuse, which may be a sign of changing attitude. Hope, it is going to be the case.

18.11.2015 - Syrian solution demands truly inclusive compromise (article by Ambassador Yakovenko for the Daily Telegraph supplement, 17 November 2015)

Upon Russia’s insistence, a truly inclusive multilateral process was launched in Vienna on Oct. 30 to help find a compromise solution to the Syrian crisis. Iran, a major player, took part for the first time, as well as China. All agreed to the U.S., Russia and the U.N. co-chairing the meeting. Heated exchanges took place on the issue of President Bashar al-Assad’s future. As was the case three years ago, this could derail the entire process. But ultimately it was agreed to disagree on that issue. Lack of agreement on this subject resulted in three more years of bloody impasse. We should know better than that this time. All the more so that those are the differences between the outside players. Why not leave it to the Syrians to decide?

17.11.2015 - Welcoming points at the Russian-British business forum, dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Trade Mission in the UK (17 November, 9.00, Royal Garden Hotel)

Ladies and gentlemen! I am delighted to welcome you at the Russian-British Business Forum, dedicated to such a significant date – the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Trade Mission in the United Kingdom. It gives me special pleasure to congratulate our colleagues on this occasion, since this trade delegation established to promote trade links with the United Kingdom in 1920 and headed by People's Commissar of Foreign Trade Leonid Krasin became the first in history Soviet Russia's trade representation abroad. In fact, it set an example for a whole network of Russian trade missions abroad, which are still successfully operating. Ever since its establishment the Trade Mission has continued to work hard to promote business relations between Russia and Great Britain. It helps companies in both countries to find partners and enter each other’s markets.

29.10.2015 - Russian Embassy on the Times editorial

Your editorial, which accompanied Ambassador Yakovenko’s interview (26 October) is full of grossly misleading statements on Russia’s foreign policy. May I set the record straight before your readership?

23.10.2015 - Letter of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.Kramarenko to the “Financial Times”

Letter of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.Kramarenko to the “Financial Times”

21.10.2015 - Letter of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.Kramarenko to the “Guardian”

Letter of Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.Kramarenko to the “Guardian”

19.10.2015 - Why Russia had to intervene in Syria (article by Ambassador Yakovenko published in The Independent)

Combating international terrorism has long been one of the top priorities of Russia's foreign policy. We have been consistently advocating genuinely global efforts in countering that evil. The fight against terrorism must be conducted on a universal legal basis, starting with the UN Charter. That is why Russia has been unable to join the US-led “global coalition” against Isis. The coalition was established in circumvention of the UN Security Council, and its operations in Syria violate the sovereignty of that country.

13.10.2015 - "Russian airstrikes won't solve the crisis" because they are Russian? (article by Andrey A. Pritsepov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh, published in "The Scotsman")

Having read your leader comments "Russian airstrikes won't solve crisis" from 30th September and "Effort needed to rein in lone wolf" from 2nd October I cannot help but notice that they represent a U-turn compared to your previous instalments (for instance, from 17th July "Conservatives made to look very bad again" and from 21st July "PM needs to do more to beat IS").

12.10.2015 - Letter to the Editor of The Sunday Times

On 11 October 2015 The Sunday Times published the article “RAF ready to shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria” which referred to “three senior Cabinet ministers and senior Defence sources”. Given clarifications from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, stating publicly that “reports about RAF rules of engagement in Iraq are inaccurate”, one may conclude that your newspaper was spreading rumours, which could have grave consequences for our bilateral relationship with Britain, and far beyond.

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