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TIRASPOL, February 26. /TASS/. Leader of the unrecognized republic of Transdiestria Yevgeny Shevchuk has called on Moldova and Ukraine to abandon the policy of sanctions against the republic.
"We suggest that our neighbors (Moldova, Ukraine) abandon the ideology of sanctions, blocking economic possibilities, triggering poverty in Transdniestria," Shevchuk said in his annual address on Thursday. He said Moldova and Ukraine kept on imposing new trade restrictions against Transdniestria’s economic agents, which "leads to direct undermining of the republic’s budget." In such situation, in his words, the government was forced to reduce spending to retain economic stability.
Shevchuk said that Moldova and Ukraine were still taking steps to hinder border crossing by Transdiestrian and Russian citizens. "Often, Transdniestrian citizens with Russian passports are denied even transit without any explanations. Actions of neighboring countries arouse big concern in Transdniestria, which has never before felt such open pressure in all spheres of life," he said.
Representatives of Tiraspol have put forth many initiatives to improve relations with Chisinau but the bulk of them has not been heard, said the Transdniestrian leader. He underscored he saw no alternative to a dialogue but such an atmosphere of no-pressure was needed for such dialogue. "We have already referred our proposals to the new team of our partners in Moldova. We stress it is a top priority to abandon the practice of criminal persecution of Transdniestrria’s officials, to close criminal cases initiated on political grounds. No real progress can be achieved without that," Shevchuk said.