August 2014: Developments at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border

        Odessa, 1 September 2014. Following is an outline of selected developments at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border during the month of August 2014.

        Enhanced controls.

        On 1 August, the Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine issued an order to reinforce controls at the Transnistria segment of the Ukrainian-Moldovan border. Male citizens of the Russian Federation between 18 and 60 years of age entering Ukraine through that segment must routinely undergo second-line checks. All vehicles have to be subject to a more thorough examination, including through use of canine units and detection equipment. Special attention must also be paid to vehicles entering Ukraine in transit.

        During August, Mission experts observed an increase in second-line controls and in refusals of entry based on interviews. Compared to July, the number of refusals along the Transnistrian segment of the border tripled to approximately 360. However, in percentage terms this corresponds only to slightly more than 0.1% of overall crossings. EUBAM experts participating in second-line interviews confirmed their compliance with the Ukrainian legislation and EU human rights standards.

        Trenches progress along the Transnistrian segment of the border.

        The Transnistrian segment is 453.4 km long, representing slightly more than a third of the overall Ukrainian-Moldovan border. Since mid-July, Ukraine has been reinforcing border control installations and digging trenches in selected locations along that segment. By the end of August, the trenches measured approximately 14 km overall. Their width is between 3 and 4 m and their depth can reach 4 m. Naturally-obstructive areas such as swamps are not included in the undertaking.

        Increased Belarusian demand for Moldovan produce.

        Following the 21 July Russian Federation ban on import of farm products from Moldova, the EUBAM Field office in Otaci/Mogiliv-Podilskyi observed an increase in the export of Moldovan apples and plums towards the Republic of Belarus. Export of plums increased almost six times and that of apples 24 times. The average price for apples remained steady while plums prices dropped by 20% over August 2013. Exports of grapes and peaches towards Belarus have decreased.