Minister of Transports denies political pretext of railroad crisis from Moldova

Minister of Transports and Road Management, Miron Gagauz, denies political pretext of the railroad traffic problem created after the Ukrainian State administration of the railroad transport „Ucrzaliznitea” closed for repairs the bridge from the 116 km of the Moghiliov-Podolski – Ocniţa railroad branch. On Wednesday, September 6, during a press conference the minister denied the statements of several officials that the Ukrainian actions have a “Transnistrian subtext”, meant to lead to the resuming of traffic on the Cuciurgan (Ukraine) - Novosavitkaia (Moldova) border railroad branch, blocked by the Transnistrians on March 4. Gagauz mentioned that, during the negotiations, the sides decided to cooperate to solve the railroad problems that might last until September 29, when the re-opening of the railroad branch is due. The minister also mentioned that in the night of September 5, the train to St.-Petersburg was delayed only by technical problems during 18 hours and came back to Chisinau. The price of the tickets will be compensated, the ministry stated. At present, the passenger train traffic is resumed on the Ocnita – Larga – Kelmenti - Hmelnitki – Jmerinka railroad branch, opened after the higher mentioned bridge was closed for repairs, and the branch will remain open until the Ocnita - Moghiliov-Podolski rails are functional. The traffic of cargo trains is stopped at the moment because the replacement railroad branch does not have the required technical parameters. Miron Gagauz mentioned that at present 500 cargo wagons are blocked in Chisinau and another 500 cargo wagons cannot reach Chisinau. This fact leads to daily loss of MDL 5.5 million of the Moldova Rail Roads. A delegation of 12 Ukrainian experts are now in Chisinau in a two day negotiation with the Moldovan authorities, meant to resume cargo traffic, especially of goods of the first necessity, Gagauz stated. The sides must also discuss the resuming of train traffic through Transnistria. The minister mentioned that this alternative will be taken into consideration only if the Ukrainians will take responsibilities for the transported goods. The minister also added that Chisinau does not wish to negotiate with the Transnistrian authorities and cannot assume responsibilities for the transported goods, after the separatists have sequestered 173 wagons with goods, and the Moldova railroad management was forced to pay compensations with an overall value of approx. CHF 1.1 million.

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