Transnistrian president's news conference: two decades of PMR existence were not in vain
"The 20 years of the PMR existence were not in vain", the president of the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, Igor Smirnov, stated at a news conference here on Tuesday.
In the presence of numerous local journalists, members of the Transnistrian supreme soviet [parliament] and government, the unchangeable PMR leader stated that a sound system of state care about citizens has been built in Transnistria.
"Over the 20 years, we have proved to the world that Transnistria does exist. I am grateful to Russia thank to which there is no bloodshed here. And recent changes in Ukraine are inspiring hope that it is possible to make something for improving the people's lives without cringing before the European Union", said Igor Smirnov.
Touching on Transnistria's hard existence over the two decades, its leader said, "We have paid too high a price for our state - over 8 hundred human lives".
In his words, no one can force the Transnistrian people into living a different life "because it is impossible to combine the incompatible. We have Slavic roots, and we shall be always with Russia. The people residing in Transnistria have a mentality totally different from that in Moldova, Bessarabia, Romania". Smirnov thus hinted that Transnistria's integration with Moldova is impossible.
"These 20 years, Moldova was only making us harm. It tried to forcibly unite two different parts. Some time ago Chisinau started claiming we were smuggling weapons. But the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), sent to this region, found out there was not weaponry smuggling here. Now Moldova is busy implementing its new political project - trying to pull out Russian military peacekeepers so as to deploy here an international civilian mission under the OSCE auspices. But are the 5 hundred Russian peacekeepers a real force?" wondered the Transnistrian president.
Smirnov accused Western countries of using double standards, saying, "Only very recently, they bombed Yugoslavia and recognized the independence of Kosovo, and now they are giving advice to Transnistria how to better integrate with Moldova. The European Union justifies murderer Ilie Ilascu, which is an extra proof of the EU's double standards that are totally alien to Transnistria. We do not ape like Moldova does to please somebody. We build our own state".
Speaking of Transnistria's relations with Moldova, Igor Smirnov reminded the journalists what he had told the then Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin during the memorable tripartite meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on March 18, 2009.
"I told Voronin then that if he had really wanted Moldova to be preserved, he should have recognized the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic the sooner the better, otherwise Moldova would find itself in Romania", Smirnov said, looking obviously glad about his political farsightedness and about the events in Chisinau developing exactly as he predicted. As he put it, "Transnistria is the border of the Russian empire", and people in Russia understand this simple truth, express solidarity and compassion to Transnistria, and demonstrate their sincere readiness to help.
"I have nothing against the Romanian nation. But Transnistria is the border of the Slavic culture. If Moldova wants to study the history of the Romanians, let it study it. I guess we should get rid of those who make harm to Moldova and Transnistria", he said.
Criticizing the Moldovan authorities for the external loans and credits its takes, Igor Smirnov boasted that "last 20 years, Transnistria did not take even a single external credit", but preferred to not mention the generous assistance Russia had provided to the region all these years. He only said, "We do not need any assistance with a political background. The Lord itself punishes for such assistance".
Asked what he believed was Transnistria's main achievement and main blunder over the 2 decades concerned, Smirnov said, "Our main achievement has been that we have preserved in Transnistria the Moldovans, and the Russians, Ukrainians, Jewish people, Bulgarians, the Gagauz people etc. And our chief mistake was that we had believed too long that somebody would care about our problems and grievances".
Speaking of the Transnistrian population's desire to build an independent state, Igor Smirnov once again referred to the referendum held in the region in 2006, when the voter turnout was 97.1%, of whom 94.6% voted for Transnistria's independent development path, with subsequent joining the Russian Federation, "and only 3.6% voted for giving up the independence and reintegration with Moldova".
Asked to share his impressions about his recent meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Vladimir Filat in Tiraspol during a soccer match between Sheriff (Tiraspol) and Basel (Switzerland), Smirnov said, "He was concerned more about what was developing on the field. However, he did come to my lodge to shake hands with me. Filat knows our stance. Presently, he has quite a burden on his shoulders: economy, building of homes for flood victims and other things. So, we should wait and see the results".
Smirnov preferred to not comment what he is expecting from the presidential elections due in Moldova this autumn and possibly from parliamentary elections.
Infotag's dossier: The so-far unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic was proclaimed on September 2, 1990. The region has a territory of 4,160 square kilometers, and a population of 530 thousand, of whom ethnic Moldovans constitute 32%, Russians 30.4%, and Ukrainians 28%. Transnistria has three official languages - Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian. In 2009, the region's gross domestic product exceeded US$910 million, and per capita income was US$1,830 - against US$1,515 in the mainland Moldova.Infotag