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Moldova, Ukraine put economic pressure on breakaway Transdniestria — diplomat

August 14, 2014, 15:04 UTC+3 TIRASPOL
Transdniestria's foreign minister Nina Stanski said Ukraine’s new customs rules for Transdniestrian products are an “economic blockade”
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Citizens walk past the Transnistrian Government building

Citizens walk past the Transnistrian Government building

© EPA/ITAR-TASS/STRINGER

TIRASPOL, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities are putting economic pressure on Moldova’s breakaway Transdniestria, its foreign minister Nina Stanski told reporters on Thursday, slamming Ukraine’s new customs rules for Transdniestrian products as “economic blockade”.

“In March 2006, Moldova and Ukraine jointly imposed the so-called new customs regime, which paralyzed Transdniestria’s free foreign economic activity,” Stanski said. The situation in the largely Russian-speaking separatist region squeezed between Ukraine and Moldova has been deteriorating since then, she added.

“Only last year, direct losses of economic agents amounted to $250 million, the figure comparable to the consolidated budget of the republic,” the top diplomat said

“Chisinau also blocked the banking activity of Transdniestria. Russia is the only country giving us a possibility to make settlements with the external world,” Stanski said.

Tiraspol sees as “an economic blockade” the new rule of border crossing for Transdniestrian products, imposed by Ukraine and demanding Moldovan customs convoy. “This blockade is carried out in violation of terms of the 1997 memorandum on normalization of relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol, which fixed the right of Transdniestria to carry out foreign economic activity,” she said.

This document is one of the frameworks of the present negotiating process, with Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) being its guarantors.

In 1992, Chisinau lost control over the left bank of the Dniester River after a failed attempt to solve the problem by force in a military conflict. Since then, Transdniestria is independent from the government in Chisinau de facto, the peace here maintained by peacekeeping forces. The region’s capital, Tiraspol, is seeking international recognition, whereas Molvova proposes an autonomy within the united country.

Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) acted as intermediaries in numerous negotiations in the confrontation but failed to clinch a consensus on the republic’s status. In 2006, 97% of Transdniestria’s population said “yes” in the referendum about joining Russia, but Moldova, the OSCE and the European Union declared the vote illegitimate and undemocratic.

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