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Protesters demonstrate against the new customs rules on the Ukraine-Moldova border, March 9 (ITAR-TASS)
March 14, 2006 -- Russia's foreign minister today criticized new customs rules imposed by Ukraine as part of a crackdown on smugglers crossing its border with Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniester.
Sergei Lavrov today said the customs rules violated earlier agreements and were exacerbating an already bad humanitarian situation in Transdniester. He also criticized the West for endorsing the new rules.
Ukraine imposed the new rules earlier this month, prompting officials in Transdniester to accuse Kyiv of mounting an economic blockade.
Ukrainian Transport Minister Viktor Bondar said today Kyiv was meeting international obligations by imposing the new border rules.
Also today, British Ambassador to Moldova John Beyer told President Vladimir Voronin that Britain and the EU approved of Ukraine's enforcing of customs rules.