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06KIEV1160, UKRAINE/MOLDOVA/TRANSNISTRIA: RUSSIAN AID CONVOY,

March 24, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1160 2006-03-24 15:47 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 001160 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 
TAGS: PREL PINR PBTS OSCE
SUBJECT: UKRAINE/MOLDOVA/TRANSNISTRIA: RUSSIAN AID CONVOY, 
GOU PROPOSAL TO TEMPORARILY EASE CUSTOMS REGIME 

Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 

1. (U) This is an action request.  Please see para 6. 

Maintaining the new customs regime 
----------------------------------- 

2. (C) Ambassador delivered ref A points on Ukraine's 
Transnistria-related customs proposal to Foreign Minister 
Borys Tarasyuk March 24.  Tarasyuk asked whether we wanted 
the current border controls to change, to which Ambassador 
replied that we did not, that the current customs arrangement 
was acceptable and that it had taken a long time to reach 
this acceptable situation.  Ambassador noted that 
Transnistria was essentially blockading itself.  Tarasyuk 
said he understood.  When Ambassador asked for more detail on 
Ukraine's plans, Tarasyuk repeated that he understood our 
position.  (Discussion then turned to the March 26 Rada 
(parliament) and local elections -- septel.) 

3. (C) Separately March 24, DCM delivered the 
Transnistria-related customs proposal points to MFA Second 
Territorial Department Deputy Director Ihor Prokopchuk. 
Prokopchuk thanked DCM for the nonpaper delivered earlier 
(ref B) and responded that Ukraine very much appreciated U.S. 
and EU support on the implementation of the customs regime 
and offered the clarification on the proposal that it 
pertained only to a small number of trucks trapped on 
Ukrainian territory at the time when the customs regime was 
introduced.  Prokopchuk explained that about ten vehicles 
that had passed onto Ukrainian territory and been stopped 
were now blocking a checkpoint.  Transnistrian authorities 
would not allow them to return, and the GOU proposal was 
intended as a one-time procedure relating only to those 
vehicles. 

4. (C) Asked if the GOU had attempted to persuade 
Transnistrian authorities to allow the stranded trucks to 
return, Prokopchuk explained they had, but without 
significant results.  He noted that the having the trucks 
stranded there served Transnistrian interests, impeded 
traffic, and created a negative atmosphere.  DCM noted that 
Transnistria had created this problem and it would be helpful 
to push back.  On the question of timing for this move, 
Prokopchuk responded that GOU was looking for a consensus and 
noted the measure had been discussed with, and received 
rather positively by, the OSCE head in Moldova. 

5. (C) Comment:  We are not certain what to make of 
Tarasyuk's response, but he seemed distracted, no doubt by 
the upcoming elections.  In any case, we registered our 
opposition to the Ukrainian proposal, and will look to 
revisit this issue with Tarasyuk after the elections. 

6. (C) Action request:  Please advise how to respond to the 
GOU explanation that their proposal involved a one-time, 
specifically targeted relaxation of the rules instead of a 
more open-ended "temporary" move. 

Russian humanitarian aid convoy making its way across Ukraine 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------- 

7. (C) On March 24 DCM also delivered ref C points on Russian 
"humanitarian aid" to Transnistria.  Prokopchuk assured DCM 
that there was never any question that the trucks would be 
allowed to pass.  The trucks had arrived at the border 
without any documents and waited four hours until documents 
were sent over.  About two hours after crossing the border, 
several trucks ran out of gas and spent two hours filling 
their tanks.  During the course of seven hours they proceeded 
only 200 km despite the police escort provided to them.  The 
convoy was close to Chernihiv during the afternoon and 
probably would be off Ukrainian territory by the end of the 
day.  Prokopchuk noted that Russia only requested permission 
from Moldova for the goods to enter Moldovan territory after 
a GOU press conference called attention to the fact that 
Russia had not done so.  He noted that the GOU was terming 
Russia's move a provocation and a politically motivated 
attempt to politicize the border regime, support the 
separatist forces, and influence the mood in the run-up to 
Ukraine's elections. 

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

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