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Ukraine Takes Hard Line On Smuggling Through Transdniester


Yuriy Yekhananurov during the March 15 interview (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 15, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov today said that Kyiv will not tolerate smuggling anymore across its border with Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniester, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported.

Ukraine imposed new regulations on March 3 requiring all cargo to be cleared by Moldovan customs officers.


The measure was taken amid pressure from the European Union, which is concerned about smuggling in and from the internationally unrecognized Transdniester region.


Yekhanurov told RFE/RL today that the decision is in accordance with international requirements.


"We have simply introduced international rules of the game and smuggling won't be tolerated any longer," he said. "And it looks like in recent days, after we introduced the international rules, there hasn't been any smuggling or so-called shadow economy on the border."


Yekhanurov also warned Transdniestrian separatists to respect Ukraine's borders.


Meanwhile, Moldovan officials said today that dozens of businesspeople from Transdniester were stopped by separatist authorities from crossing into Moldova.


The government had invited companies in Transdniester to attend a seminar in Chisinau about new customs requirements for exports to Ukraine.


(with material from AP, AP Flux)

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