Poroshenko removed the sanctions imposed on the Transnistrian plant right after he received the letter from the Moldovan Prime Minister. The metallurgical plant does not pay taxes to the budget of Moldova and is a strategic enterprise of the self-proclaimed Transnistria Republic.
Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip assisted in lifting the Ukrainian sanctions off the Moldovan Metallurgical Plant (MMP), one of the key taxpayers of the unrecognized Transnistria Republic. This was reported by RISE Moldova publication created in conjunction with Radio Liberty’s anti-corruption investigative journalism project.
According to the material, on May 14, 2018, President Petro Poroshenko included the MMP in the list of sanctions for three years, but on March 19, 2019, Poroshenko issued a decree with an updated list of legal entities that are subjected to sanctions, where Novastal prim company appeared instead of MMP. According to official data Novastal prim was the largest recipient of Ukrainian scrap metal in Moldova.
According to the official version of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Novastal Prim is suspected of violating the sanctions regime, namely, in mediation in trade operations between Ukrainian exporters and Transnistrian MMP during the embargo period.
The letter of the Moldovan Prime Minister to the Ukrainian authorities was written on March 7, 2019. In this letter, PM requested to remove MMP from the list of sanctions, as well as to stop the antidumping investigation against this plant.
To the question of journalists at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine answered that the decision to remove the MMP from the sanction list was motivated by the proposal of the Security Service of Ukraine, and the SSU stated that the initiative belongs to the Presidential Administration.
MMP is one of the three largest taxpayers of the unrecognized Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublika (Transnistrian Republic). Previously, the plant belonged to the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and was transferred to local authorities in 2015.
The official reasons why Ukraine first imposed and then lifted the sanctions against the MMP are unknown. It is also unknown why the Moldovan Prime Minister assisted the plant that does not transfer payments to the Moldovan state budget.