NEW CALDARI - Non capsuleer traffic began to flow across the Caldari-Gallente border for the first time in three months today, after the CEP voted to lift border restrictions with the Federation that have been in place since March 22nd.
The government mandate, which prevented the movement of any non-capsuleer vessels registered in the Gallente Federation, along with any non-capsuleer holder of Gallente Citizenship across the border with the State, was rescinded at noon New Eden Standard Time. The announcement came after a CEP session that saw only two of the big eight vote in favor of the restriction remaining in place.
For the last three months, more than a third of Federal traffic has been diverted via the Amarr Empire, placing significant strain on Imperial Customs and the Amarr Navy's border protection services, as convoys of vessels were diverted through the Fua and Yekti constellations of Domain in order for them to pass between Sinq Laison and The Citadel.
The move, which was controversial even within the State, appears to have achieved the objective of placing substantial economic and political pressure on the Federation. It has been widely reported that shipping costs to Caldari markets - one of the largest export destinations for raw materials produced in the Federation - have swelled by almost 25% during the border closure, causing financial strain for many small scale haulage and logistics corporations.
The Scope has learned that rescindment of the Mandate may be related to a short noticed meeting between Lady Hamideh Kador and Empress Catiz, which occurred on Friday at the Imperial Palace in Dam-Torsad. Sources within the Empire claim that Lady Kador expressed security concerns over the high volume of traffic passing through the Fua constellation of Domain, which is bordered by the Kador Family's holdings on two of its three internal Imperial borders.
This possibility that diplomatic contact with the Empire influenced the decision to withdraw the restrictions was further reinforced via criticism of Lai Dai's change of position on the mandate, after they voted to rescind it with only Nugoeihuvi and CBD supporting the continued restrictions on Gallente traffic.
A statement by Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola suggested this, after he commented to interstellar press that "Lai Dai's complete change of heart clearly indicates that the initial vote for border restrictions was nothing more than an emotionally derived decision made out of spite against the Federation, and Ishu-Gallente relations.
"Furthermore, Ishanoya-haani's flip-flopping on a matter that affects two key economies in New Eden, as well as the livelihoods of trillions of people, is concerning to say the least. It would appear however, that Lai Dai's partners and shareholders in the Empire have voiced their concerns over the corporation's position on supporting such a ridiculous restriction on free trade, even if that concern only relates to their own worries regarding domestic security."
Lai Dai's office of press have remained unavailable for comment when contacted, and while traffic is free flowing across the Caldari-Gallente border once again, the CEP confirmed in the announcement that there are no intentions at this time to re-establish diplomatic contact with the Federal government, or re-open any State Embassies or consulates.
The Scope will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.