Almost thrilling news. Russia has promised us 500 million dollars after the June 22, 2009 visit of Vladimir Voronin to Moscow. It is true that it will not be free of any charge, but a credit. This announcement was made by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. It is also true that nobody knows when the credit will be released and under what conditions. No one knows if it will be provided in general.
If believing that this credit will be really provided to Moldova, though I do not think so, a promise is just a promise, not a document. Credits shall be released on the basis of some guarantees, tangible constants, or a common promise is not enough, especially in crisis conditions, of course. But the conditions and interest rate are to question, should the Russians really give us this credit. Any credit must be reimbursed. Any credit requires certain dependence. And one more thing. Using the funds accordingly to the destination is the biggest problem of the credit. Or, given the human nature, credits are often used contrary to the destination. One should not forget that statements delivered at such a level are rather a diplomatic PR mechanism. This news has raised much discontentment in Transnistria, particularly in governing organs. You do not know what to do with some money? You should give it to us. There is a specific race for the Russian banknotes between Chisinau and Tiraspol.
As a matter of fact, Tiraspol makes some progress in this regard. According to available official data, foreign transfers turned over 116.9 million dollars, and payments accounted for 17.4 million dollars in January-June, “after the Russian Federation resumed in 2008 the allocations under the shape of humanitarian and technical assistance, as well as after the rise of other free-of-charge payments. In consequence, the net inflow of transfers to the territory of the self-declared republic amounted to 99.5 million dollars, which is 1.7-fold more than in the 1st half of 2007.” (“Newsletter by the Transnistrian Republican Bank”)
One more amount. Decision # 1394 by the Supreme Soviet from March 4, 2008 indicates the amount of “220,500,000 Russian roubles” provided to the Transnistrian Republican Bank (BRT) and directed “to crediting and sustaining agro-industrial economic agents.”
The Russian money going to Transnistria has a very important role, but not like credits. The central bank of Transnistria provides credits in Russian roubles to commercial banks from the region. In their turn, commercial banks interact with population and economic agents.
Even more, supplements to pensions (85 Transnistrian roubles or 9.4 US dollars) and monthly state allocations were paid in 2008 from the Russian humanitarian assistance.
According to reports by the Transnistrian Ministry of Finance, 20,274,515 Transnistrian roubles (about 2,253,000 dollars) went to diverse purposes in May 2009, inclusively supplements to pensions, expenses for improving nutrition in boarding schools and orphanages, other state social expenses.
And now the last figure. The press service of the Transnistrian legislature reported on June 26 that a new tranche of humanitarian aid, this time worth about 223.5 million Russian roubles was already transferred. This time again, according to formal statements, “the funds will go to supplements to pensions, better nutrition in orphanages, boarding schools, health institutions for children, maternities, centres for disable children, kindergartens, specialised sanitary institutions.”
Hence, the Russian money is coming. And the discontentment of the Tiraspol authorities that Chisinau could get a credit as well should not surprise one. They are not discontent because they could be short of money. They are angry because this money could be provided for free to the true pro-Russia comrades that means Transnistrian comrades. And they have already got a certain experience of using the funds.
And it makes no sense to discuss much with partners from Chisinau who became pro-Russian again overnight. Or just talking with them, not more? Or everything will be just words.