On 4 November 2015 the Governments of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova signed an agreement on the organization of information exchange on persons and vehicles and the Protocol between the border and customs authorities on the organization of joint control at the Kuchurgan international border crossing point in the territory of Ukraine.
These decisions were made without taking into account the position and interests of the Pridnestrovian side and their implementation will inevitably entail toughening of the existing order of population and cargo movement on the border of Ukraine and Pridnestrovie.
Such actions do not meet the principles of objective necessity and contradict existing agreements of the negotiation process on the Pridnestrovian settlement. They are launched serving the sole purpose of complete control and regulation of Pridnestrovian foreign economic activity by creating legal framework of the Republic of Moldova along the entire perimeter of Pridnestrovie and putting in place the available administrative instruments of pressure.
As a consequence, the following risks occur:
1. In the economic sphere
• inability to import goods subject to phytosanitary and veterinary control (RM’s Government Decision regulates the exhaustive list of crossing points on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border available for the passage of such goods, where Kuchurgan-Pervomaisk checkpoint is not listed). The loss of Pridnestrovian economic operators is likely to be from 900 thousand US dollars to 2 million 300 thousand US dollars annually;
• inability for private individuals to import goods into the territory of Pridnestrovie (there are about 20 thousand individual entrepreneurs in Pridnestrovie, who carry out foreign trade activities, while under the law of the Republic of Moldova individuals are banned from engaging in foreign trade, any goods may be imported only for personal use in a limited number). The presumable loss is about 16 million US dollars a year;
• need for all Pridnestrovian imports to obtain customs clearance three times and the consequent significant increase in administrative barriers (the financial and time costs of economic agents while obtaining and filling in Moldovan customs declarations, acquisition of Moldovan licenses for imports of a broad category of goods, need for mandatory registration of economic agents in Moldova). The loss is likely to be from 20 million 200 thousand US dollars to 21 million 600 thousand US dollars;
• inability for some economic entities to import, including socially important product categories (this refer to enterprises with state ownership, which cannot be registered and licensed in the Republic of Moldova);
• serious possibility for the arrest of imports by Pridnestrovian commercial entities, which are headed by people persecuted for political reasons in the Republic of Moldova.
2. In the sphere of security
• at present in accordance with the documents of the negotiation process the defense and law enforcement agencies of the conflicting parties – Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova – contact only within the Security Zone, where activities, including in the event of incidents, are strictly and effectively regulated;
• if representatives of the Moldovan defense and law enforcement agencies are placed on the border of Pridnestrovie and Ukraine, there are no practical mechanisms to prevent possible aggravation of the situation.
3. In the sphere of free movement
• inability for vehicles registered in Pridnestrovie to travel to Ukraine by analogy with the ban for Pridnestrovian vehicles on the crossing of the Ukrainian-Moldovan and Romanian-Moldovan borders (510 thousand vehicles cross the border at the Kuchurgan border crossing point every year);
• ban on import / temporary import of vehicles in Pridnestrovie (due to various regulations on the age of vehicles allowed for import), as well as potential attempts to force PMR’s citizens to clear imported vehicles in Moldovan customs authorities;
• extension to the Ukrainian-Pridnestrovian border of all the measures to influence on citizens and officials of Pridnestrovie, which are applied by the border structures of Moldova at the Kishinev airport (in total 2 million 225 thousand people move annually through the Kuchurgan border crossing point);
• detention of citizens of Pridnestrovie persecuted for political reasons in the Republic of Moldova (to date, there are 182 criminal cases initiated against the citizens of Pridnestrovie in Moldova).
Establishment of joint customs-border control at the Kuchurgan checkpoint will inevitably lead to the countermeasures of Pridnestrovie and the ultimate misbalance of the negotiating structure.
The Pridnestrovian side proposes to begin consultations immediately at all available levels of the negotiation process in order to find mutually acceptable solutions.
Thus, as a result of unilateral actions by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, Pridnestrovie may lose up to 38 million 500 thousand US dollars, i.е. about 6% of its GDP. At the same time, the European Union intends to allocate 6 million US dollars for the joint control project, in fact acting as a donor of the blockade.
At the same time the Republic of Moldova persistently refuses to discuss the issues of joint control, as evidenced by the demarche of the Vice Prime Minister of the RM Gheorghe Balan during the meeting of the negotiators of the parties on 14 March 2017, when he demonstratively left the meeting hall as the Pridnestrovian side raised the issue of joint control.