(RIA Novosty) The Moldovan prime minister denied allegations from the breakaway Transdniester region Monday that new customs regulations imposed by Ukraine amounted to an economic blockade.

"An economic blockade of Transdniester is out of the question, because our citizens live in this region and we are seeking to improve their life," Vasile Tarlev told a news conference in Chisinau.

Traffic was reported blocked on the Ukrainian -Transdnestrian border Monday, and Transdniester customs said that Ukraine had not given a reasonable response to inquiries.

On March 3, Ukrainian customs service head Alexander Yegorov signed a regulation stipulating that all the cargoes crossing the Ukrainian -Transdnestrian border must undergo customs registration in Moldova and not in Transdniester.

Transdniester responded by blocking rail and road transit of cargoes to and from Moldova. On Sunday, Transdnestrian President Igor Smirnov set up an interdepartmental council to counter what it said were "blockade measures" by Ukraine and Moldova, and 16 public organizations in the region established an anti-blockade coordinating council Monday.

Also Monday, Moldovan Railroads started sending cargo around Transdniester. It denied Transdnestrian media reports that it refused to transit cargoes through Transdniester as "contradicting reality".


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