Moldova demands pullout of Russian peacekeepers from Transdnestr
04:30 30/09/2009 UNITED NATIONS, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - The new Moldovan government will demand the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from its breakaway region of Transdnestr, a senior Moldovan diplomat said.
"The Republic of Moldova will renew efforts aimed at the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country and the replacement of the current peacekeeping operation by a multi-national mission with an international mandate," said Alexander Kuzhba, Moldova's envoy to the United Nations.
"The new Liberal-Democratic coalition will seek the resolution of the Transdnestr problem in the existing '5-plus-2' format and insist on increasing role of the United Sates and the European Union in this process," the diplomat said.
The Russian-speaking province of Transdnestr has maintained de facto independence from Moldova since a brief war in 1992, which was the culmination of tensions following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Russia has had peacekeepers in the region since July 1992. They man a total of 15 checkpoints in the unrecognized republic.
The talks on the future of Moldova's breakaway region in the "five-plus-two" format, involving Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Moldova, Transdnestr, and the U.S. and the EU as observers, have been frozen since February 2006.
Meanwhile, the new Moldovan leadership has openly supported unification with Romania and closer ties with the West.
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