Statement in response to the Report of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

As delivered by Counsellor Stein Paul Rosenberg at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 25 April 2024

Thank you, Madam Chair,

I join others in welcoming Ambassador Keiderling back to the Permanent Council and thank her for her comprehensive report.

We commend the Mission for continuing with its important work amidst the changing regional circumstances and challenges following Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine, and the repercussions for Moldova.

Last week, Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide visited Moldova. During his visit, he met with Ambassador Keiderling and the political leadership in Chișinău to discuss the situation on the ground, as well as to reaffirm Norway’s unwavering support for and solidarity with Moldova and its agenda for democratic reforms and European integration.

It goes without saying that any advancement in democracy and respect for human rights contributes to the common good of all Moldovans – regardless of which side of the Nistru/Dniester they reside. We support the Mission's efforts to address human rights issues on both sides of the river, despite its limited mandate.

Madam Chair,

As we stated in the Permanent Council two weeks ago, Norway shares concerns regarding the ongoing efforts by Moscow and its proxies to undermine Moldova’s stability and reform agenda. These actions not only destabilize the region but also impede the advancement of essential reforms necessary for the prosperity and security of Moldova and its people.

We share Ambassador Keiderling’s view on the decision by Tiraspol in 2022 to introduce a pre-notification policy for all the Mission’s visits to Transnistria. We also regret that the Mission has been denied access to the sites of the two drone-related incidents in Transnistria over the past few weeks.

Madam Chair,

In the current situation, the field mission plays a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in the region and preventing an escalation between the sides. This includes facilitating dialogue between Chișinău and Tiraspol, as well as the Mission’s frequent monitoring visits to the security zone and border areas.

Norway will continue to express our full support for the work and mandate of the Mission, and will evidently support the extension of the mandate when the current term expires in June.

Finally, let me once again underline the importance of reaching consensus for a unified budget. While Norway recently signed a new and flexible cooperation agreement with the OSCE, providing funding for various extra-budgetary projects, the lack of an approved unified budget represents a severe challenge for any OSCE body. This is not sustainable for the Mission in Moldova, nor for any other OSCE field mission.

Thank you.