06MOSCOW12231, DEMARCHE ON DISRUPTION OF CHISINAU-MOSCOW RAIL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12231 2006-11-02 14:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7618
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2231 3061407
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021407Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4835
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 012231 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016 
TAGS: PREL ETRD PBTS MD UP RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON DISRUPTION OF CHISINAU-MOSCOW RAIL 
LINKS 
 
REF: STATE 181103 
 
Classified By: PolMinCouns Alice Wells.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) We made reftel demarche November 1 to Ambassador 
Valeriy Nesterushkin, MFA negotiator for Transnistria. 
Nesterushkin made two notes of fact.  In the first tick, he 
said the decision to cancel trains no. 47 (Moscow-Chisinau) 
and 48 (Chisinau-Moscow) was taken by Russian Railroads, not 
the GOR -- though he admitted that Russian Railways is a 
state-owned company.  In the second tick, he said that there 
is now no train from Transnistria to Moscow. 
 
2. (C) Nesterushkin then went on to reject the demarche, 
giving the Russian narrative of events.  Train 47, he said, 
is a "high speed" train that has for years traveled along the 
high-speed tracks from Chisinau-Tiraspol-Kyiv-Moscow, making 
the trip in 26 hours.  In March, the Moldovan government 
"unilaterally" re-routed the train through northern Moldova, 
bypassing Transnistria.  (Comment:  He did not mention the 
Transnistrian "self-blockade" that occasioned this.  End 
Comment.)  This added 600 kilometers and 22 extra hours to 
the schedule -- although Nesterushkin said the train was 
consistently 3-5 hours late.  Kyiv had negotiated an 
exception, allowing its goods to pass through Transnistria 
and Moldova and then back into Ukraine at the port of Reni, 
from which cargoes could be shipped economically either to 
the Black Sea or Romania.  Given the extra expenses and 
"schedule overloads," the Russians asked for a similar 
exception, most recently last week when Deputy Security 
Council Secretary Zubakov met President Voronin in Chisinau. 
(Comment:  Nesterushkin did not mention how this might affect 
the Transnistrian "self-blockade."  End Comment.)  Voronin 
refused, and the Russians had countered by canceling Train 
47.  According to Nesterushkin, this was a business decision 
taken against political demands that caused Russian Railroads 
and its customers to incur unjustified expenses. 
Nesterushkin noted that the two "slow" trains between 
Chisinau and Russia continue as before. 
 
3. (C) Nesterushkin rejected the demarche's assertion that 
"Moldova has the right to control its rail lines" -- or 
rather, its implication that rail lines are in some way 
different in terms of sovereignty from automobile roads and 
bus, car or bicycle travel along them.  He denied that there 
was any connection between the cancellation of Train 47 and 
the March Customs Protocol between Moldova and Ukraine.  He 
rejected the demarche's concerns over proposed new railway 
routes on grounds that "simple people should have access to 
rail transportation."  He had nothing to say about the 
closure of the Mogilev-Podolsk bridge over the Dniepr, saying 
that concerns only Moldova and Ukraine. 
BURNS

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