Moldova says officials from breakaway Transnistria, which has no international airport, must in future notify Chisinau before taking any work trips abroad through Chisinau airport.
Moldova has banned officials of the pro-Russian separatist regime in Transnistria from obtaining special permits for work trips outside the country.
“Starting on August 1, 2022, the notification-permission mechanism for crossing the state border of Moldova was implemented, including when passing through the Chisinau International Airport,” the spokeswoman for the Reintegration Policies Bureau within the Moldovan government, Mariana Sarî, told BIRN.
She said this mechanism would only apply to persons with responsible positions from Tiraspol who need to travel for business purposes outside Moldova.
“The new mechanism does not aim at freedom of movement for personal purposes. It [also] does not limit movement for other categories of citizens from the Transnistrian region,” she added.
The measure has displeased the regime in Tiraspol. After the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine closed its land border with Transnistria.
Tiraspol criticised this action as “pressure on … citizens of the region, preventing their free movement”. The Transnistrian region does not have a functional airport for international flights.
The region’s head of diplomacy, Vitaly Ignatiev, said he had reached out to Chisinau to discuss the new law but received no response.
However, officials from Chisinau told BIRN that the Reintegration Policy Bureau had not received any note of protest from Tirasopol.
Chisinau’s decision comes against the background of recent statements from Tiraspol demanding independence for the separatist region and voicing a desire to join Russia.