Why did the Moldovan authorities increase the cost of services in the motor vehicle registration points?

06/04/21 19:10

Why did the Moldovan authorities increase the cost of services in the motor vehicle registration points?

Such actions only complicate the situation against the background of accumulated problems in the vehicle registration mechanism

The Moldovan authorities have increased the cost of services at motor vehicle registration points without warning. This issue was raised by Foreign Minister Vitaly Ignatiev during a meeting with mediators and observers of the negotiation process between Moldova and Pridnestrovie.

“We have a negative surprise again. Since June 1, the Moldovan authorities have unexpectedly raised the cost of services in the vehicle registration points. The Moldovan side has increased the tariffs by several hundred lei for those services that are standard. Those people who came to register their car with the vehicle registration point could not do this. We believe that such actions do not help us solve problems. In 2019, almost 210 thousand Pridnestrovian cars drove to Ukraine, and the total traffic was about 1 million people. We would not want these people`s rights to be diminished,” Vitaly Ignatiev said.

As it became known, since June 1, due to unilateral actions of Chisinau, the work of vehicle registration points has been suspended. This is happening in violation of all agreements: according to the signed protocol of 2018, any changes or disagreements must be resolved at the negotiating table. That is, this issue must be discussed with the Pridnestrovian side in advance. Yet Chisinau decided to ignore Tiraspol, which is an equal party to the protocol decision. Such a voluntaristic approach looks like a provocation - the Moldovan authorities may find it beneficial to completely destroy the vehicle registration points` mechanism in order to impose the license plate and driver's licenses of the Republic of Moldova on the Pridnestrovians. If so, then the 2018 agreement itself, which allows Pridnestrovian vehicles to travel to non-CIS countries, is at risk.  

A similar provocation takes place during the visit of mediators and observers in the negotiation process, who made a lot of efforts to sign the "Protocol Decision on the Participation of Non-Commercial Vehicles from Pridnestrovie in the International Traffic". Chisinau seems to demonstrate complete disregard for the negotiation format and the agreements signed by the representatives of Moldova. This time, the international negotiators had a great opportunity to make sure that Chisinau is incapable of negotiation and unwillingness to comply with previously signed documents. Meanwhile, the Pridnestrovian Foreign Ministry proposed to hold a meeting of expert groups as soon as possible in order to find a solution to the problem and resume the work of the motor vehicle registration points.

It would be strange if in Chisinau, instead of dealing with the solution of the transport problem, they decided to simply make money on it. Although, perhaps, they expect that threats to close the Ukrainian border for cars with Pridnestrovian license plates from September 1 will lead to an increase in demand for neutral license plates. Yet the opposite happens: due to the fact that the vehicle registration points` mechanism does not fully work, the Pridnestrovians, on the contrary, abandon their neutral license plates, returning to the Pridnestrovian ones.

After the Moldovan authorities actually deprived Pridnestrovians with Ukrainian and Russian citizenship of the opportunity to register a car with the vehicle registration point, there are not so many who want to do this - only 4% of cars from the PMR have been registered in two years. At the same time, almost 159 drivers returned back to the Pridnestrovian license plates, as it was necessary to re-equip them.

As already noted, 15 problems were recorded in the activities of the vehicle registration points` mechanism, which actually brings its work to naught. The Pridnestrovian side proposed to solve 15 problems in 15 weeks. However, Chisinau is still not ready to hold expert meetings on this issue and get down to work. Against this background, the sudden increase in the cost of services in the vehicle registration points looks at least strange. The question arises: are they actually engaged in solving the transport problem in Chisinau, or, on the contrary, this problem is artificially heated up to create unbearable conditions for the Pridnestrovian residents. 

As Vitaly Tryapitsyn, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, noted earlier, it is already obvious that a significant part of Pridnestrovian car owners will not physically have time to issue neutral license plates by September 1, the date of the announced ban on crossing the Ukrainian border using Pridnestrovian license plates. Especially since the motor vehicle registration points` mechanism does not actually work due to the actions of the Moldovan authorities.

Will these facts and threats be taken into account by the mediators and observers of the negotiation process, who, as they claim, are guided primarily by the interests of the people?

Peter Novikov


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