EU Interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE rules of procedure

OSCE Special Permanent Council No. 1403, Vienna, 22 December 2022.

In connection with the PC decision on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, the European Union would like to make the following interpretative statement under the relevant provisions of the Rules of Procedure:

1. The EU deplores the isolated position of the Russian Federation to limit the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova to six months instead of one year, which is the rule. The Brussels OSCE Ministerial Council decision 18/06 reaffirmed that the mandate for field operations should be of a one-year duration when the participating State hosting the field operation concurs.

2. We consider that a six-month extension represents a very heavy administrative burden for the Mission and we do not see any reason to render the functioning of the Mission even more challenging in the current very difficult circumstances, when the Republic of Moldova is facing the consequences of the Russian Federation’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.

3. We commend the Head of Mission and her team for the outstanding work they carry out to implement the mandate of the Mission, which has continued in spite of the present challenging circumstances. We recall our strong support for the Mission’s work in facilitating engagement and regular dialogue between the sides in the context of achieving a lasting comprehensive political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognised borders with a special status for Transnistria.

4. It is essential that the Mission continues to monitor the situation in the Security Zone and on the border with Ukraine, and reports without delay on any incidents occurring there. We reiterate our appeal for strict adherence to the rules established by the Joint Control Commission in the Security Zone, and for respect for the Mission’s mandate and for the free movement of Mission members.

5. Having in mind the importance of allowing the OSCE Mission to Moldova to continue its invaluable work, and taking into account the position of the host country, the EU decides to join the consensus to extend the mandate by six months.

6. We call on Russia, as a co-mediator along with the OSCE and Ukraine in the 5+2 format of the negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement process, to reconsider its decision in order to allow for a resumption of a one-year extension of the Mission’s mandate.

We request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the journal of today’s meeting.

The Candidate Countries NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO*, SERBIA*, ALBANIA* and UKRAINE, the Potential Candidate Country GEORGIA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as well as ANDORRA align themselves with this statement.

* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.