Foreign Minister of Transnistria Vitaly Ignatiev and Ukraine’s special envoy in the negotiation process, Ambassador-at-Large Vitaly Zhovtenko discussed the plans of Kiev and Chisinau to set up a joint customs-frontier control at Kuchurgan checkpoint (Ukraine’s territory) and the risks the given decision constitutes to economy of Transnistria.
Ignatiev said Transnistria-Moldova relations are facing more and more challenges and threats. What worries most is the plans of Moldova and Ukraine to set up a joint customs and frontier control with the financial assistance of European Union.
The Transnistrian diplomat informed Ukrainian colleagues of possible negative consequences of the given decision for the trade and economic sector, for free movement and regional security. “I hope our voices were heard and as part of our political dialogue we will discuss this problem at the upcoming meeting of 5+2 negotiation format (Moldova, Transnistria – sides to conflict, Russia, Ukraine – guarantors and mediators, OSCE – mediators, EU and U.S. - observers). We suggested bilateral consultations with our Ukrainian colleagues,” Ignatiev said.
Ignatiev made a point of Ukraine’s attention to the current situation and generally to the problems in the bilateral relations of Moldova and Transnistria. He emphasized the negative dynamics in the dialogue of the sides, low interaction of political representatives and expert (task) groups. “Transnistria has submitted initiatives and proposals at the technical level almost on all issues within 11 expert groups, but Moldova shows no political will for settlement of the issue. Therefore, it is important that the negotiations mechanism is used at full,” the diplomat said.
As EADaily reported earlier, the joint frontier control at Kuchurgan checkpoint to be opened by the end of 2017 is located in the territory of Ukraine and borders with Pervomaysk checkpoint on Transnistria’s territory. This will help Chisinau control movement of citizens and cargoes via the Transnistrian section of the border. Transnistrian republic assesses this as toughened economic blockade and asks Moscow to respond to the situation and put the issue on agenda of 5+2 talks on Transnistria-Moldova settlement.
The Moldovan side, in turn, sees no need to discuss the issue in the 5+2 format, as establishment of the joint frontier control “comes under Moldovan –Ukrainian bilateral relations and does not seek to deteriorate the situation” for economic agents of Transnistria or ordinary citizens.