Tiraspol is trying to escalate and aggravate the negotiations, as well as find excuses for the deterioration of the dialogue between the two Dniester banks. Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian stated this.
The comment was made against the background of the new Moldovan Customs Code, which came into force on 1 January, obliging all economic agents from the Transnistrian region to pay customs taxes to the republican budget. Tiraspol said it would take additional measures.
The new Customs Code, which came into force on 1 January, obliges all economic agents from the Transnistrian region to pay customs duties to the Moldovan budget. Until now, they paid taxes only to the regional budget. Tiraspol expressed dissatisfaction and said that Transnistria’s losses due to this decision would amount to 5 to 30 million dollars a year. It threatened to impose customs duties on Moldovan farmers who have plots in Dubasari and raise electricity tariffs for Romanian-speaking schools in the region.
Chisinau responded that it would not allow itself to be intimidated and would not retreat.
“No concessions will be made on this chapter of the Customs Code. This was not an unexpected step, as they say in Tiraspol; the relevant draft has been under discussion since 2021. We are not talking about 5-30 million dollars, it is about one or two million dollars more, which is not a huge economic burden. This is rather used in Tiraspol for propaganda purposes to find an excuse for the deterioration of relations and to find an excuse for an even longer pause,” Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian said.
The authorities state that the provisions of the new Customs Code represent another step in Chisinau’s program to include the Transnistrian region in the legal and economic field of the Republic of Moldova and ensure fair competition for all economic agents.
Chisinau says it will try to find a solution at the 1+1 talks next week and may offer compensation to the farmers if necessary.
“We are used to this kind of threats; it is not in our interests to further inflame the situation, which is already tense enough. We understand perfectly well, what the goal of the Tiraspol administration is - to abandon this Customs Code and return to those preferences, as they say for the citizens. This will not happen, we will see what decision, compensations or other steps will be taken, we will give explanations later,” Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian promised.
Recently, Vadim Krasnoselsky sharply criticized Chisinau’s decision to oblige all economic agents in the Transnistrian region to pay customs duties to the Moldovan budget. Krasnoselsky also accused the Moldovan Government of allegedly trying to escalate the conflict. Chisinau denies the accusations.
“We understand that the situation is tense. I do not think the situation can be tenser than it is now, politically. If you mean military tension, there cannot be any. Moldova is under no circumstances preparing military pressure actions or any other kind of intimidation,” Serebrian stressed.
Moldova’s new Customs Code came into force on 1 January. The purpose of the document is to standardize and harmonies the national legislation with the European one, that is one of the main commitments that our country undertook after obtaining the status of a candidate country for EU accession.
Today, Transnistrian residents protested at the Bender-Chisinau checkpoint. They are dissatisfied with the introduction of customs duties by Chisinau. People are holding placards with demands to the Moldovan authorities: “Robbing the people is not the way to Europe”, “We will not pay tribute”, “You stopped our enterprises”.