Nevertheless, Transnistrian authorities, supported by Russia, immediately blamed Ukraine for blocking the border to prevent Transnistrian business from having any kind of legal foreign trade possibilities and by that set an economic pressure on Tiraspol to change its political position in favor of reintegration with the rest of Moldova. Transnistrian authorities organised a real border blockade, impeding all cargo and even local trains from crossing the border. Tiraspol continued such a policy till May 2006, after which self- blockade was substantially relaxed.
On March 14 2006, the European Union sent out a strong message in response to Tiraspol’s attempts to establish a blockade and presented the new customs regime as the cause of a “humanitarian catastrophe“ in the region.
We call on the self-proclaimed Transnistrian authorities not to block this registration. We condemn any efforts by the self-proclaimed Transnistrian authorities to impede the free flow of international trade, which harms the interests of Transnistrian economic agents, which are thus deprived of their export possibilities. The EU expresses her hope that in the future the conditions will be put in place for Moldova to grant all registered Transnistrian companies access to the trade preferences for the EU that other Moldovan companies now enjoy.“2
According to an EUBAM official, “the new customs regime in place since March has created a step-change in the effectiveness of the border control system. There is more transparency about import and exports flows to and from the so-called Transnistria”.3
Ukrainian decision making system in Foreign Relations and
President implements his power in different cases either directly or via decisions of The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (being a Chairman of NSDC and having an authority to appoint and dismiss most of the NSDC members)
President’s direct authority
The powers of the President of Ukraine are stipulated by , which defines the rights and responsibilities of the President as Head of State, the election procedure, and provides for the possibility of his/her dismissal from office and termination of his/her powers.
President is due to prevent any actions of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power that directly or indirectly infringe the fundamental Law of Ukraine. With the aim of fulfilling this duty the President is vested with corresponding authorities. He is empowered to suspend decisions of government bodies and veto laws passed by the Verkhovna Rada.
President is the Guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In these terms his powers are stipulated by Article 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine and impose on him the duty of making decisions and acting in order to defend and consolidate the state sovereignty, to secure the integrity and inviolability of Ukraine’s territory within the limits of the existing borders.
According to Article 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine, as the Guarantor of citizens’ rights and freedoms, the President is empowered to revoke acts of government bodies and branches of power in order to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms.
Presidential powers within domestic policy are stipulated by Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine. According to the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine the President of Ukraine issues decrees and orders, which are binding on the territory of Ukraine. President cooperates with all branches of power, appoints and dismisses Government officials and executive authorities, attends the Government’s meetings and has his/her
representatives in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada.
In terms of foreign policy the Presidential powers are stipulated by Article 102 and 106 (items 3, 4 and 5) of the Constitution of Ukraine. The President, as Head of State, acts on behalf of Ukraine, represents Ukraine on the international scene, negotiates and signs international treaties and is in charge of foreign policy of the state.
President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine according to Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine. In the event of an armed aggression against Ukraine, the President makes decisions on the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. President heads the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
President submits to the parliament nominees for the position of MFA, MOD and Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) Chairman which gives him control over these bodies (in emergency and crises cases as well). If parliament doesn’t agree on nominee for SSU Chairman, President can appoint him (or other person) for the position of Acting Chairman.
Authority of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine In accordance with article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) is the coordinating body in matters pertaining to national security and defense under the President of Ukraine.
The NSDC of Ukraine coordinates and supervises the activities of executive bodies in the sphere of national security and defense. The President of Ukraine is the Chairman of the NSDC of Ukraine.
In terms of rank and position, the membership of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine shall include the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Minister of the Interior of Ukraine, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Ukraine. The President of Ukraine appoints the other members of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
Decisions made by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine are being implemented through the Degrees issued by the President of Ukraine. NSDC decisions are binding for the Cabinet of Ministers (government) and other central and regional executive bodies.
The principles and tasks of the NSDC activity are developed and determined in details by the Law of Ukraine “On National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine”adopted on 05.03.1998 and the Concept (basis of public policy) of National Security and Defense of Ukraine, approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 1997. The Law defines functions and authorities of the Council in peaceful time as well as at wartime, its membership and structure, order functioning, members’ functions etc. The Concept covers those spheres of vital activity of the society that are under influence of the national security policy.
Authorities of Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) and the Cabinet of Ministers are rather limited in crises situations. However they can block President’s and NSDC decisions if the ruling coalition and the president belong to different political forces.
Authority of the Parliament
Article 85 of the Constitution. The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine comprises:
22) confirming the general structure and numerical strength, and defining the functions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and other military formations created in accordance with the laws of Ukraine, and also the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine;
23) approving decisions on providing military assistance to other states, on sending units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to another state, or on admitting units of armed forces of other states on to the territory of Ukraine.
Authority of the Cabinet of Ministers
Article 116 of the Constitution.The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:
1) ensures the state sovereignty and economic independence of Ukraine, the implementation of domestic and foreign policy of the State, the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, and the acts of the President of Ukraine;
With regards to the Breakthrough crisis, however, abovementioned mechanisms were not fully activated. In particular, the situation was not put on the formal agenda of NSDC sittings. Most of the decisions and efforts were made on the level of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in consultations with the President’s Secretariat), without the involvement of top level emergency decision making mechanisms. The reason of this, on the one hand, was that for Ukrainian authorities the events analysed have not been perceived as full fledged crisis threatening vital security interests of the country (as described in Was the “Breakthrough crisis” a crisis for Ukraine?). On the other hand, at that time political forces and leaders were preoccupied by strong domestic political crises in Ukraine (see next chapter).