According to the information received by PMR's MFA, starting today, March 12, 2014, the state border guard service of Ukraine has reinforced significantly the border crossing for the citizens of the Russian Federation, living in Pridnestrovie. A large number of citizens at the age of 17 to 65 years old were denied entrance to Ukraine without explanation of the reasons. The Pridnestrovian side contacted the state border guard service of Ukraine, but no explanations were provided. Moreover, assurances were voiced that the crossing of the state border by foreign citizens works in a regular manner. Unfortunately, this fact does not correspond to a real state of affairs on the border. The PMR's MFA receives a number of complaints from Russian citizens, residing in Pridnestrovie who have faced discrimination today.

The situation developing in “border” relations between Pridnestrovie and Ukraine is a cause of a serious concern. Today, it has become a main topic of discussion during the meeting between Yevgeny Shevchuk, the President of the PMR, and Farit Mukhametshin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Moldova. The meeting was also attended by Nina Shtanski, Deputy Chairperson of the Government of the PMR for International Cooperation, Foreign Minister (see The President of Pridnestrovie Hosted Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to the Republic of Moldova). In the course of the meeting, the Head of State expressed his concern to the Russian diplomat, and requested to organize a bilateral meeting at the level of Heads of the Russian and Ukrainian diplomatic missions to Moldova in order to clarify the situation.

We hope that this meeting will take place and the guarantor countries will take all appropriate measures to ensure respect for Pridnestrovian people's rights to the freedom of movement. As previously reported, the Pridnestrovian side did not manage to organize the meeting between leadership of the Republic and the Ukrainian Ambassador to Moldova: earlier on the initiative of the Ukrainian side the meeting was canceled (See Statement by Press-Service of the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry).

Today, Ambassador of Russia Farit Mukhametshin announced his intention to inform the Central Head Office of the Russian MFA about the situation “in order to clarify reasons of infringement of Russian citizens' rights at the border”.

We recall that one of the few results reached during the negotiation process is advancement in discussions on the creation of additional guarantees of the freedom of movement for Pridnestrovian residents.  Relevant agreement was signed in Vienna on February 28, 2014. It contains obligation of the Moldovan side not to apply sanctions against Pridnestrovian residents not possessing nationality of the Republic of Moldova, when crossing Moldova's state border (inter alia, who depart from the Kishinev airport). One of the longstanding problems clouding the dialogue between Pridnestrovie and the Republic of Moldova since 2009 seemed to have been solved, and affixing signatures of international participants in the 5+2 format seemed to have secure international guarantees for this agreement.

Due to restrictions which do not allow a number of categories of Pridnestrovian people to leave the Republic of Moldova, going to Russia and other countries was only possible through the Ukrainian border.

We must note that, in fact, the Pridnestrovian residents are trapped on both sides by actions which limit their freedom of movement. (As previously reported, restrictive measures against a number of individuals such as law enforcement officials, representatives of government come from the Republic of Moldova. See Statement by Press-Service of the PMR's Prosecution Office in view of the Statement by General Prosecutor of the Republic of Moldova).

Taking into consideration the aforementioned, Ukrainian actions are beyond logical explanation. In doing so, the country acting as a guarantor of an agreement on removing barriers and sanctions against Pridnestrovian people leaving the territory of Moldova, is now seriously restricting the Pridnestrovian residents' right to free movement.

The PMR's MFA is extremely concerned about factual isolation of citizens of the Republic and about serious violation of fundamental human rights to the freedom of movement, and has deployed all diplomatic recourses to find a solution to the matter as soon as possible.