Summarizing results in the reintegration sector with Alexandru Flenchea, former deputy prime minister for reintegration, within IPN’s series “2020 in Review: Good and Bad Aspects”.
Alexandru Flenchea said the year 2020 in the reintegration sector witnessed considerable political turbulence in Chisinau and this affected considerably the authorities’ capacity to take coherent actions to resolve the Transnistrian conflict. The main challenge of the year was the self-isolation of the Transnistrian region and the obstruction of the freedom of movement over the Nistru, which affected directly hundreds of thousands of people. “If I tried to see the full part of the glass in this dramatic involution, I would probably say, for the first time after 1992, that there is no person who wouldn’t have understood that the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict can no longer be postponed. The problem cannot be left aside until the “opportune moment”. An unsolved problem cannot settle itself. It generates a chain reaction that ultimately affects each and all.”
Only when a critical mass of people who will understand that the situation of the unsolved conflict involves also huge economic costs for the country appears, the political leaders will have to meet voters’ expectations that the country should be reunified and the people will feel safe and their rights will be protected no matter where they are – in Chisinau or in Tiraspol.
The acknowledgment of the risks related to the existence of an unsolved conflict by the ordinary people and politicians is a good element in the reintegration sector. Another good element is the fact that there was no shooting in the zone in 2020. “I want to believe that in 2021 we will generate more good news expected by the people.”
This year witnessed rather many challenges with which the authorities had to deal. First of all, there is the pandemic that thwarted all the work plans and led to the suspension of free movement inside the country. Then, three chief negotiators on behalf of Chisinau were replaced during one year and this affected the Government’s authority and credibility in the negotiation process. Among the challenges are also the rise in the volume of contraband and the elections, the problem of the vote of the people from the left side of the Nistru, which clearly showed that work should be done not only in relation to Tiraspol, but also to the citizens from the right side of the Nistru so as to remind what the country’s reintegration means and what it can bring. The lack of a view on the settlement process and the hiatus in talks are also among the shortcomings.
“The fact that the list of risks this year is long, while of accomplishments is empty speaks for itself. We should necessarily note that this year the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the political instability and the presidential elections overlapped, but such factors can cause a halt in the talks even during happier times.”
The risks of destabilization in the Security Zone materialized, culminating with the arrest of four Moldovan citizens, including police officers from Camenca. “On the one hand, we were witness to de-synchronization in statements and actions concerning these challenges on the part of the Government and the presidential administration. On the other hand, in 2020 Parliament became more actively engaged in subjects from the Transnistrian file and this is welcome. The resolution of the Transnistrian dispute necessitates a lot of consolidation and political support that can come first of all from Parliament.”
The year 2020 created more opportunities for fighting smuggling, legalizing and ensuring the transparency of the flow of money and restoring normality and legality on the Moldova-Ukrainian border. On other subjects, work was done at the start of the year and resuts are to be seen during the first months of 2021, on condition that the political situation in the country does not generate blockages and obstructions.