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Talks Under Way On Russian Troops In Moldova

Ljubljana, 4 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- At the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Slovenia today, Russia and Moldova argued over a timetable for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova's breakaway province of Transdniester.

Officials who attended the meeting in Ljubljana said both sides took hard-line positions and there was little sign of a compromise.

Russia agreed at an OSCE conference in Istanbul in 2000 to withdraw its troops and military equipment from Transdniester. However, many are still in place and Russia argues that it will take several years to complete the withdrawal.

U.S. officials said Washington supports Moldova's position.

An OSCE official said another argument is continuing on whether there should be a reference to the Istanbul agreement in the final document of the current meeting in Ljubljana. Russia told the meeting it did not want a reference to the Istanbul agreement.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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