Press releases

Statement of Foreign Minister Andrei Galbur at the 24th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council

Statement of Foreign Minister Andrei Galbur at the 24th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council
by H.E. Mr. Andrei Galbur, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister
of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova,
at the 24th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council
(Vienna, 7 December 2017)

Herr Vorsitzender,
Damen und Herren,

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ich möchte mich den Vorrednern anschließen und dem Österreichischen OSZE-Vorsitz, persönlich Herrn Minister Sebastian Kurz, für die Ausrichtung dieses Ministerratstreffens hier in Wien meinen besonderen Dank aussprechen.

I would like to join previous speakers and express my particular gratitude to the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, personally to Minister Sebastian Kurz, for hosting this Ministerial Council meeting here in Vienna.

Mr. Chairman,

The European security order continues to face a significant number of challenges – ongoing violation of the Helsinki Final Act and principles of international law, unresolved conflicts, stalemate over conventional arms control regime, disinformation campaigns and many other.  The instability factors are evolving, while rules are becoming weaker. This trend should be reversed and the only way to achieve it is to implement the undertaken commitments in parallel with continuing a sincere and result-oriented dialogue. Therefore, we welcome discussions held under the umbrella of the Structured Dialogue. This effort should be further continued, being focused on core issues such as challenges to the rules-based European security order. It should also further tackle the entire range of politico-military issues which might help to reinvigorate the conventional arms control regime and push forward the modernization of the Vienna Document. Moldova will support these efforts.

Dear colleagues,

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has already taken a heavy toll in human lives, both military and civilians. We fully support the diplomatic efforts aimed at the political resolution of the crisis based on the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

Mr. Chairperson,

Turning to the Transnistrian conflict resolution, I am pleased to acknowledge the positive momentum that we are witnessing following the agreements reached between Chisinau and Tiraspol on issues that have been unresolved for many years – the situation of Latin-script schools, use of farmlands, apostilization of diplomas, telecommunications, the opening of the Gura-Bîcului bridge. The round of 5+2 negotiations that took place in Vienna a few days ago welcomed this progress and set certain objectives for 2018. Of course, naivity and self-complacency have no place in any conflict resolution process where too often reached agreements are not implemented. Therefore, we thank very much the Austrian Chairmanship and the OSCE team for their efforts. And we will continue to rely on the incoming Italian Chairmanship for facilitating the practical implementation of the agreed solutions, reaching new ones as well as helping to advance on all three baskets of the negotiated agenda. 

The agreed solutions that I referred to earlier – are important primarily for the population and business community. But we expect that they also will have a positive effect on the entire conflict resolution process. By resolving one by one the outstanding issues we are preparing the ground for political settlement. A final and viable solution to the conflict can only be based on the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova in its internationally recognized borders, as it is stipulated in the relevant OSCE documents. Within these parameters we should agree upon a special status for Transnistria, which will empower the region with broad self-government prerogatives in various areas and ensure its participation in the national decision-making process. It is the goal of the Moldovan authorities to continue the committed work on a comprehensive vision that will guide our actions and policies on Transnistrian settlement process.   

Mr. Chairperson,

The Republic of Moldova remains deeply concerned with the continuing illegal foreign military presence on our territory. We strongly reaffirm our call for the full withdrawal of the Russian military forces from Moldova in accordance with international commitments and provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.

We also see the need to transform the current peacekeeping operation on the Nistru river into a civilian mission with an international mandate that would be confidence-building and contacts-facilitating rather than a separating factor.

Mr. Chairperson,

We strongly support and cooperate well on various issues with the OSCE autonomous institutions – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM) and the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM). One of the important files in this regard is the functioning of the Gagauz autonomy. The central authorities, in particular the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is in regular dialogue with the Gagauz People’s Assembly on the issue of harmonization of legislation that would ensure proper functioning of the autonomy. Certain steps have been already taken and other should follow. The Government, on its side, will continue supporting the economic development and modernization of Gagauzia. 

In conclusion, let me thank once again the Austrian Chairmanship for their efforts in 2017. I would like to extend miei migliori auguri to the incoming Italian Chairmanship in 2018.

Thank You.