President of the Transdnistrian Republic of
Moldova Signs Decree On the Legal Status
of the Russian Imperial House

President I. N. Smirnov of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova (second from left), seated next to HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna

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On December 21, 2011, in Tiraspol, President I. N. Smirnov signed Decree № 998, entitled: On the Legal Status of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova (or TRM).

This Decree is enormously significant for the support of traditional spiritual and cultural values across the world because it contains the first international case of cooperation between the governments of republics and Imperial and Royal Houses, as well as clear principles defining the relations of a republic to a royal dynasty which, though no longer reigning, nonetheless is regarded legally as a historical institution and, consequently, one of the main pillars of civil society.

The provisions in this Decree legally defining the status of the Russian Imperial House in the TRM could become a model for the resolution of analogous situations in many other countries (adapted, of course, to the unique governmental and national circumstances in those countries).

The text of the Decree and the foundations of the legal status of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova reads:

Decree № 998 of December 21, 2011, of the President of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova: "Concerning the Status of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova"

In accordancewith Article 72 ofthe Constitution of theTransdnistrian Republic of Moldova, and honoring the memory of our ancestorswho have conveyed tous a lovefor our Fatherland, and confirming the integral place of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldovain allperiods of the centuries-long history ofthe All-Russian State,

I hereby:

1. determine herewith the status of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova (see attached Appendix).

2. affirm that this Decree will take full effect upon signing.

President I. Smirnov

Tiraspol’

December 21, 2011

№ 998

Appendix

The Status of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova

1. The Concept, Composition, and Status of the Russian Imperial House

1. The Russian Imperial House is a historic institution,which has preservedits continuitysince the time of its accessionand which operates according to its own internal historical dynastic laws and regulations, insofar as these laws and regulations do not contradict the current laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

2. The Russian Imperial House consists of the descendants of Tsar Mikhail I Fedorovich Romanoff, who are accorded this status by the provisions of national historical laws, which were formulated in the Confirmation Charter of the Great Assembly of the Land of 1613, and in dynastic decrees that are and have been issued by the Heads of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov since 1797, including: the Law of Succession of Emperor Paul I and the Decree on the Imperial Family, both issued on April 5, 1797; the Manifesto of Emperor Alexander I amending the Decree on the Imperial Family, issued on March 20, 1820; the charter of Tsesarevich Constantine Pavlovich, affirming his abdication of his rights to the throne, dated November 26, 1825; the Manifesto on the Accession to the Throne of Emperor Nicholas I, issued on December 12, 1825; the Manifesto of Emperor Alexander III revising the Decree on the Imperial Family, issued on July 2, 1886; the Manifesto of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duke Kirill Wladimirovich, concerning his assumption of the rights and duties of All-Russian emperors, issued on August 31/September 13, 1924; the Decree of Emperor-in-Exile Kirill I Wladimirovich concerning the titles of the morganatic wives and descendants of Members of the Russian Imperial House, issued on July 15/July 28, 1935; the Manifesto of Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich concerning his accession to the rights and duties of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, issued on October 18/October 31, 1938; the Decree of the Head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich concerning his recognition of the royal status of the Georgian Royal House of Bagration, issued on November 22/December 5, 1946; the Decree of the Head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, granting his consent to the marriage of Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna with Prince Franz-Wilhelm of Prussia (in Orthodox baptism, Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich); the Decree of Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, concerning her accession to the rights and duties of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, issued on April 13/April 26, 1992; the announcement of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, concerning the Oath taken by Her Son and Heir, Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, to uphold the dynastic laws, as required by those laws, made on March 27/April 9, 1998; and other such dynastic decrees that may in the future be issued by the legitimate and hereditary Heads of the Russian Imperial House.

3. A person who issues from a legal marriage, contracted with the permission of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, or a person who has entered into a legal marriage, contracted with the permission of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, with a member of the Russian Imperial House, is recognized as a member of the Russian Imperial House.

4. At the time of the issuance of this present Decree, the members of the Russian Imperial House are: Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna Romanova (the Head of the Russian Imperial House), and Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich Romanov (the Heir of the Head of the Russian Imperial House).

5. The legitimate descendants of the members of the Russian Imperial House will be recognized as members of the Russian Imperial House on the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova from the moment of their birth or from the moment of their entering a marriage with a member of the Russian Imperial House, such recognition requiring no special amendment to the present Decree.

6. On the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, the Russian Imperial House is recognized as a unique historical institution, without corporate rights, which assists in the patriotic, spiritual, and moral betterment of the citizenry of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, in the preservation of its historical-cultural legacy, and in the traditions of Transdnistrian society.

7. The Russian Imperial House possesses no political authority in the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

2. The Head of the Russian Imperial House

8. The Head of the Russian Imperial House is that person who, by right of dynastic primogeniture, is identified as such by the Decree of Succession of Emperor Paul I of April 5, 1797, and by the subsequent legal acts listed in paragraph 2 above.

9. The Head of the Russian Imperial House represents the Russian Imperial House on the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova and may designate others to act on behalf of the Russian Imperial House. The rights and duties of the Head of the Russian Imperial House are passed down through inheritance in accordance with the provisions of the internal dynastic decrees governing the order of succession within the dynasty.

3. The Activities of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova

10. In the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, members of the Russian Imperial House shall be free to engage in any activity that is not prohibited by the laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

11. Members of the Russian Imperial House may create in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova legal corporations.

12. The Branch Office of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova represents and protects the interests of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova. The Head of the Branch Office is appointed by the Head of the Russian Imperial House. Financial support for the activities of the Branch Office of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova is provided by donations and other means not prohibited by the laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

13. With regard to members of the Russian Imperial House in the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, all protocols will be observed, as specified by the Office of Protocols of the Administration of the President of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, in consultation with the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

4. Titles, Symbols, and Dynastic Awards of the Russian Imperial House

14. The titles of members of the Russian Imperial House shall be in accordance with the traditions and rules established by its own dynastic decrees. The titles of members of the Russian Imperial House are to be considered part of their full names and are to be written as such in all official documents.

In the event of a change in the title of a member of the dynasty, the Head of the Russian Imperial House will, through Her Chancellery and in writing, inform the appropriate governmental institutions of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

15. The historical coat of arms and other symbols of the Russian Imperial House are recognized as the intellectual property of the Russian Imperial House, which possesses the sole right to use such symbols, or to permit or prohibit their use by other persons.

16. The Russian Imperial House has the right to award the dynastic awards of the Russian Imperial House to citizens of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, as well as citizens of other countries and those without citizenship residing in the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, including government officials, military servicemen, and law enforcement officials.

17. The Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova recognizes the following dynastic awards of the Russian Imperial House:

a) The Imperial Order of St. Andrew the First-Called;

b) The Imperial Order of the Holy Martyr Catherine;

c) The Imperial and Royal Order of the White Eagle;

d) The Imperial Military Order of St. George the Victory-Bearer;

e) The Imperial Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Prince Vladimir;

f) The Imperial Order of St. Anna;

g) The Imperial Military Order of St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker;

h) The Imperial Order of the Holy Great Martyr Anastasia the Healer;

i) The Imperial Order of St. Stanislas;

j) The Imperial Order of St. Michael the Archangel;

k) The Medal of Distinction (Order) of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga;

l) Elevation to personal or hereditary noble status and the granting of noble titles which are to be recognized as part of one’s personal name;

m) The awarding of the right to wear Imperial medals of distinction (Imperial monograms of the Head and Members of the Russian Imperial House, Imperial medals, and commemorative medals);

n) The awarding of letters of commendation, of gratitude, and of special distinction; and of official portraits of the Head and members of the Russian Imperial House.

5. The Russian Imperial House’s Representation of the Interests of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova

18. The Russian Imperial House may, in agreementwith the governmental authoritiesof the Transdnistrian Republicof Moldova, acton behalf of theTransdnistrian Republic of Moldova in its relationswith foreign states and international organizations to achievethe following goals:

a) The development and strengthening of relations between the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova and foreign governments;

b) Attracting investment, technology, and skilled personnel to the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova;

c) The development of international scientific and cultural exchanges between the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova and foreign countries, legal entities, and citizens;

19. In order to carry out the activities specified in paragraph 18, members of the Russian Imperial House shall receive authorization and be provided with any and all required documents in the manner to be determined by the President of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

6. Non-Interference in Internal Affairs

20.On the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, the Russian Imperial House shall:

a) Operate in accordance with its own internal historical dynastic laws, insofar as these do not contradict the current laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova;

b) Select, appoint, and replace its staff in accordance with its constituting decrees, taking into account the historical circumstances of the Russian Imperial House and the requirements of the current laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova;

c) not fulfill any functions in any bodies in the national government, in any other national agencies, in any governmental offices, or in any bodies of local self-government, nor participate in the elections to national governmental offices or to any bodies of local self-government;

d) Plays no role in the activities of political parties.

21. The Head and members of the Russian Imperial House on the territory of the Transdnistrian Repubic of Moldova enjoy all the rights of citizens of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova, and enjoy no other privileges beyond those enumerated in this present Decree.

7. The Defense of the Honor, Integrity, and Good Name of the Russian Imperial House

22. It is prohibited on the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova for anyone who is not a member of the Russian Imperial House to use the titles of members of the Russian Imperial House, or act on behalf of the Russian Imperial House, or to use the coat of arms and other symbols of the Russian Imperial House, without the official permission of the Head of the Russian Imperial House.

23. It is prohibited on the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova to register any legal entity employing the word “Imperial,” in all its grammatical forms, nor to assert any connection of such legal entity with the Russian Imperial House, if that entity (or entities) is not a member of the Russian Imperial House, or if such entity has not received written permission from the Russian Imperial House to use said word.

24. The protection of the honor and integrity of the Russian Imperial House on the territory of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova is to be carried out in accordance with the laws of the Transdnistrian Republic of Moldova.

Source & Copyright: Russian Imperial House
6 January, 2012