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06KIEV1020, UKRAINE/MOLDOVA/TRANSNISTRIA: GOU BLAMES TIRASPOL

March 15, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1020 2006-03-15 15:42 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L KIEV 001020 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2016 
TAGS: PREL PBTS PINR OSCE
SUBJECT: UKRAINE/MOLDOVA/TRANSNISTRIA:  GOU BLAMES TIRASPOL 
FOR TRANSNISTRIA BORDER STAND-OFF 

Classified By: Political Counselor Aubrey A. Carlson for reasons 1.4(b, 
d) 

1. (C) Summary:  In a March 15 briefing of OSCE member state 
reps, GOU officials accused Transnistrian authorities of 
purposefully engineering the ongoing border standoff and 
refusing GOU attempts to discuss the situation.  GOU 
officials appealed to EU states to advise their shippers to 
avoid transiting Transnistria and to require Moldovan customs 
documentation on Transnistrian shipments.  The GOU is also 
making its case in the media.  End summary. 

2. (U) DFM Andriy Veselovsky and Ukrainian Special Envoy for 
Transnistria Dmytro Tkach provided the latest developments to 
diplomats from OSCE member states March 15 on the dispute 
with Moldova's Transnistria region over Ukraine's enforcement 
of its customs protocol with Moldova.  A deputy minister of 
the Transportation Ministry and deputy heads of the State 
Border Guards Service (SBGS) and State Customs Service 
provided additional information in the nearly two-hour 
briefing. 

3. (SBU) Tkach said he had returned to his current 
Ambassadorial posting in Budapest March 12 after a four-day 
vacation and rushed to Odesa the following day to join the 
Ukrainian government working group monitoring the border 
situation.  He and SGBS Deputy Head Pavel Shisholin provided 
details substantiating that the Transnistrian authorities 
were engineering an atmosphere of crisis, including by busing 
in demonstrators to perform before television news cameras. 
Drivers of transport trucks backed up at the border were 
unable to leave because Transnistrian border guards had 
confiscated their documents and vehicle registrations.  First 
the SBGS and now the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency 
Situations had provided tents for the stranded drivers and 
were feeding them. 

4. (C) Tkach said the Ukrainian government had proposed to 
meet with Transnistrian representatives in Odesa March 16, 
but the Transnistrians had refused, first orally and to be 
followed up with a written response.  He had heard that 
Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov had gathered business 
leaders together and threatened retaliation if their 
companies shipped exports to or received goods from Ukraine. 
In telephone conversations, his contacts in the Transnistrian 
business community had told Tkach that they were afraid to 
stand up to Smirnov. 

5. (C) Saying that 50 of the 77 vehicles stranded at the 
border were from EU countries, Tkach appealed to EU member 
state diplomats to advise their companies to choose routes 
that do not transit Transnistria.  He urged the EU companies 
not to send trucks to the closed crossing points so as not to 
aggravate the situation or overwhelm the emergency facilities 
that had been established.  Tkach also asked EU governments 
to require companies not to accept Transnistrian shipments 
that lacked Moldovan certificates and carried only 
Transnistrian documents. 

6. (C) Note:  In a March 13 meeting with EUR DAS Kramer 
(septel), 2nd Territorial Department Director Ponomarenko 
expressed his concern that the Ukrainian government was 
losing the "information war" over the customs protocol.  We 
passed a set-up for a press briefing on Transnistria as we 
exited MFA that evidently would take place immediately after 
the diplomatic session.  MFA has clearly mobilized to more 
aggressively present its case, by going directly to the media 
and by seeking assistance from fellow OSCE member states. 
Subsequent media coverage of the press conference reported 
Tkach's call for Russian influence on Transnistria to reopen 
the border.  He also said GOU officials would meet March 14 
with Transnistrian businesses but, according to unofficial 
indications, Transnistrian authority representatives would 
talk "only to Moscow." 

7. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Gwaltney

 

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