Iulian Chifu // OSCE in Chisinau, a Failed, Biased and Utterly Ridiculous Mission
The representative of OSCE for Transnistrian settlement, Franco Frattini - Silvio Berlusconi's former minister of foreign affairs and a great friend of his former counterpart Sergey Lavrov - is to arrive to Chisinau these days. What will the special representative find at the mission dedicated to monitoring, resolving and preventing escalation of violence in the Eastern districts of the Republic of Moldova?
Between the Withdrawal of Troops and Munitions and Minding Business in Gagauzia
The visit was preceded by the official representative of the OSCE Chairman, Alfredo Conte, who, while on the official visit in the Republic of Moldova, discussed in Comrat with bashkan Irina Vlah the status and prerogatives of Gagauzia and had a visit to Tiraspol. According to deschide.md, Conte spoke in favour of full functioning of Gagauz autonomy based on Law from 1994 on the special status of the region. This would make the state stronger and would prove the presence of democratic values in the country. Naturally, Conte had a meeting with the Deputy Prime-minister for Reintegration, Cristina Lesnic, who has just started her mandate. Conte spoke about the need to consolidate the connections between the ethnicities that live in the country and create a tolerant society.
On the other hand, on the side of the Munich Security Conference, which took place on February 16-18, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration,Tudor Ulianovschi, had a discussion with the Secretary General of OSCE, Ambassador Thomas Greminger. They spoke, among other, about the problematics of Transnistrian conflict settlement and consolidation of the OSCE mandate in the Republic of Moldova, as well as of the specific ways to advance the dynamics of Transnistrian case, under the commitments of parties involved in the dialog, and priority attention that the Republic of Moldova pays to withdrawal of Russian troops and munitions stationed on the left bank of Nistru, underscoring the importance of support provided by the Organization in this sense.
OSCE Mission and Scanlan in Control: Key Objectives of the Mandate Failed
In this context, let us examine what Franco Fratini will find in Chisinau when he subjects the already eternal Head of OSCE Mission in Moldova, Michael Scanlan, to careful scrutiny. That is because the preliminary agenda of the conference also originates in the messages sent by Scanlan to OSCE, his reports, as well as weapons control programs and other elements related to the OSCE Mission in Chisinau, implemented, more or less, by the Head of the Mission in the Republic of Moldova, who is American by origin.
Thus, Fratini finds an OSCE Mission that does not have the capacity to implement its mandate, looking for activities and getting into the elements that have not been coordinated with the host state and are not the object of its mission. Thus, only the Head of the Mission in Chisinau can freely travel to the left bank of Nistru (and even he needs to notify about the visit), and the rest of the team cannot do their job of monitoring the zone of conflict and the actions in the separatist region, supporting the Republic of Moldova - member of OSCE, in the place of accreditation. Not a single member of the mission can cross Nistru without explicit agreement of separatist pseudo-authorities.
It is one thing that there is a prohibition, though we have not heard Scanlan cry out as loud as he could about the problem and emphasizing it at all OSCE reunions or 5+2 meetings, at all meetings he has with diplomats and officials of the member states. Moreover, he does not even take any effort to accomplish the mission in the Republic of Moldova. We have not seen a single inspection report or at least an attempt to inspect the condition of weapons and munitions on the left bank of Nistru. Have you seen anything like that since Scanlan came to Chisinau? Have you seen an outcome or at least a declaration of his presence at inspection of weapons stored in Cobasna? Not even the smallest complaint, not a squeak about the fact that he was not allowed to get in. Nothing!
Scanlan Looks Aside When There Are Military Exercises of Separatist, Russian and Pretended "Peace-Keeping" Troops.
The same Scanlan who has not had a slightest reaction to the last year's about one military exercise of the troops on the left bank of Nistru per day on average, to the exercise of cooperation and interoperability between the separatists and Russian peace-keepers and troops of the OGRT illegally stationed on the left bank of Nistru, to the participation of the pretended "peace-keepers" that have not been validated as such by anyone?
He has not protested against the offensive military exercises with the separatists' troops - troops that are in conflict and the pretended peace-keepers should keep them separate from the legitimate and regulated troops of the Republic of Moldova, showing impartiality, a mandatory condition for any peace keeping mission - he has not called indignant press-conferences, he has not notified Vienna and General Secretariat, he has not even made a report, though this is what his mission in Chisinau consists in.
All right, Scanlan is dealing in minding one's own business, if possible on the right side of Nistru, in the area, which is under control of legitimate authorities where he can travel freely, with no hindrance. I will not go into details on other much more human concerns of the diplomat, who, by the way, is far from being at a very young age, when the vapours of alcohol or hormones can play foul tricks on you. It is his business. However, is it the right thing to do to apply pressure just on Chisinau, asking for unilateral concessions not to upset Russia and because Tiraspol does not commit to anything, just for the sake of marking activity?
Maybe it is on the mandate of the OSCE Mission in the Republic of Moldova - or it is planned for a future mandate being conceived these days - that the mission has to take care of minorities in the Republic of Moldova, particularly the Russian one - super represented among the leaders of the state institutions, which is not the case of the discriminated majority Romanians or those who have Romanian citizenship (by the way, here I have also not seen any concern, or at least a report)? As for Gagauzia, after he resolved the separatism on Nistru, does he want to tackle the Gagauz one? A mission, a contact point in Comrat maybe?
Scanlan, a Disappointment and a Failed Mission, After an Utterly Ridiculous Mandate
I do not even want to talk here about priority and interest explicitly declared at the highest level by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General of the OSCE - withdrawal of troops and munitions from the eastern districts of the Republic of Moldova. Have you heard anything? Any position, any support, at least the fact that the mission in Chisinau took note of these wishes, let alone getting involved in solving them, providing legal and logistic support or promoting these positions with third countries?
Mr Scanlan forgot his mandate and the task he has in Chisinau, and particularly in the Republic of Moldova, the mandate concerning occupation troops, separatism, prohibition of free movement of citizens of the Republic of Moldova, particularly officials, on the left bank of Nistru. Weapons, military movements, offensive assault and river fording exercises, here is where the mission would have had a job to do, should that have been a concern for its head. Scanlan accomplished nothing of what his mandate is. In order not to leave any pending questions, we could always run a comparative analysis with the OSCE Mission in Kiev, present substantially, together with its leaders, at the demarcation line and in the separatist zone in Donetsk and Donbas, having important accomplishments. So, it is possible, and they are also facing separatists and Russians.
It is clear that Scanlan indulged too much in life in Chisinau, with the pleasures of the life of a diplomat who does not have much to do in a capital, be it a capital of an Eastern country, where one can find a decent restaurant, some friends for a conversation and beautiful women to admire. I am not talking about the people around, experts and older employees of the mission, knowledgeable of the routine, who ran away because of the wonderful job Scanlan is doing. I do not want to go into details of management, people, budgets, money. It is the job of the OSCE audit. The Secretariat is to run a substantial inspection.
OSCE Mission has Fully Failed Human Rights Monitoring on the Left Bank of Nistru
Scanlan spent too much time in Chisinau. He forgot about his tasks, he does not follow a single point of his mandate, but does force relations with the authorities from the old provincial positions, looking for missions other than the ones established upon his arrival to Chisinau. Should we bring up the crime of a 1st of January against an innocent citizen of the Republic of Moldova? It would be useless. However, something has to be mentioned as it is the most severe problem of the OSCE Mission in the Republic of Moldova. Human Rights.
I have not left it for the final part because I forgot about it. I could not. The "red lines" are defended by a coalition that has the same name and public reports appear periodically, and Promo Lex, the last non-governmental organization to do its job on the left bank of Nistru, brought up the situation of human rights in the eastern districts of the Republic of Moldova on several occasions. Have you seen an OSCE report, a report of the mission headed by Scanlan about the human rights situation in the separatist region? Have you ever heard of a trip that Scanlan made to the left bank of Nistru to take care of a complaint in this sense? Have you seen a recent report on human rights situation that would not be made by the office in Chisinau? Have you ever heard about a visit to a prison where the abuse hurls injustice and where people have no support whatsoever?
Nooooo...of course not. Scanlan is taking care of the OSCE's tasks in warm offices, seeing to the way the authorities in Chisinau work with the minorities, studying the rights of Comrat and Gagauzia, bashkan being the member of the Government and the autonomy given by People's Assembly functioning in Russian, in Comrat. Because he can do it, it is simple and guaranteed by the granted rights and security guarantees, as well as by the authority of the Government of the Republic of Moldova. It is where there is work to do and where it is tough, where the OSCE and its mission in the Republic of Moldova must act, that Scanlan did nothing.
Well, this is what Fratini should see and should know when he comes to Chisinau. He should pull Scanlan's ears or forelock and send him home. But home for ever, with a low score for behaviour and far from bringing bad luck on another mission in another country in this wide world. He should retire or do some field work, if possible. He brought too much shame on OSCE, the mandate of an ambassador and even the whole of American school of diplomacy.