TIRASPOL, March 5 (RIA Novosti, Vladimir Sandutsa) - The introduction of new customs rules by Ukraine will hit both Russia and Ukraine, and especially Transdnestr, a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova, an official of the Transdnestr region said Sunday.
According to Vasily Kozhan, the president of the Transdnestr Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Ukraine annually exports more than $200 million worth of goods to the Transdnestr republic and now this flow will be curtailed, resulting in direct losses for Ukraine.
He said the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa would also be affected because many goods from the Transdnestr region, in particular, the products of the Moldovan Pipe Works, were largely delivered to foreign countries by sea.
"Russia will also sustain losses because it supplies goods worth about $200 million to the Transdnestr republic via Ukraine and receives products worth about the same amount from Transdnestr," Kozhan said.
"Largely speaking, Moldova is trying through Ukraine to solve political tasks and establish full control over the exports and imports of our republic. This is unacceptable," Kozhan said.
According to Kozhan, the issue of Transdnestr's foreign trade merits special attention at the negotiating process within the format of five plus two (Moldova, Transdnestr, Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the U.S. and the European Union).
The armed conflict in Transdnestr, which has a predominantly Russian population, broke out in March 1992 when Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union. The Transdnestr region, in turn, proclaimed itself the Transdnestrian Moldovan Republic. Russia intervened in the conflict at the Moldovan president's request, and the Russian and Moldovan presidents signed a ceasefire agreement in the presence of the Transdnestrian leader in July 1992.
Talks on the region's status continue.