Neutral-design license plates are an important step towards settling Transnistrian dispute, opinions

Legalization was the main gain of Chisinau following its participation in the mechanism for registering motor vehicles from the left side of the Nistru. This is an important step towards settling the Transnistrian dispute, in the country reintegration process, ex-Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Alexandru Flenchea stated in a videoconference staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms in partnership with the platform, under the theme “File of neutral-design license plates: challenges and perspectives”, IPN reports.

According to Alexandru Flenchea, Tiraspol considers it can present the registration of Transnistrian motor vehicles as its success as it ensured free movement for vehicle owner all over the world. The motivation does not matter as long as what is done is correct. The region’s inhabitants stand to gain. Even if until recently they could travel in Ukraine and from there in Russia with Transnistrian license plates, it does not mean that this was good for them. If these vehicles became involved in an accident, even if they weren’t to blame, the persons could not obtain damages from the insurance company owing to a number of legality aspects.

As to Kiev’s interest, the Ukrainian authorities long before 2018 made it clear that they can no longer tolerate the situation that lasted for decades, since the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Ukraine made sure that it does not impose restrictive measures up to the moment at which there was an efficient mechanism for legalizing Transnistrian motor vehicles, noted Alexandru Flenchea

Cristina Lesnic, ex-Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, said that this solution has been tested for two years and was then  extended for another two years. The necessity of this mechanism appeared because many vehicles from the region could not be identified by the police if they were involved in illegalities. It was necessary for these vehicles to be registered legally.

The final impact of this protocol decision is a functional document. According to Cristina Lesnic, this thing should not be regarded only from the perspective of the number of vehicles that are registered or not registered, but also from the angle of the crossings of the state border by units of transport with neutral-design license plates.

Ion Manole, executive director of Promo-LEX Association, considers that not much is said about the neutral-design license plates. The neutral-design license plates are nothing but an element of free movement. When Tiraspol tried to introduce own license plates, Chisinau was passive and left the inhabitants from the left side of the Nistru to cope alone, but these actually refused to accept those plates of Tiraspol. Step by step, the citizens were forced to accept them, but they could not leave the Republic of Moldova if they kept those plates issued by Tiraspol. The ordinary citizens suffered as a result of those circumstances.

The mechanism for registering motor vehicles in Transnistria by issuing them with neutral-design license plates was established by Law No. 170/2018 on the registration of units of transport. It was proposed in order to implement the protocol decision on access to international road traffic for motor vehicles from the left side of the Nistru and Bender municipality and the technological process on the joint organization of the procedure for registering units of transport in the Transnistrian region (signed on April 24, 2018).

The debate “EU Debates Cafe” is held with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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