30 July 2004 -- Romanian President Ion Iliescu today called on Russia to intervene in the Moldovan separatist region of Transdniester and stop the closing of Romanian-language schools.
Separatists in Transdniester have closed two schools teaching in Romanian -- and replaced them with Russian-language schools. On 29 July separatists entered a third school arresting six teachers and parents who were staging a sit-in protest with students. All but one were later released.
In a statement, Iliescu called the situation in Transdniester "intolerable" and requested that Russia use its influence with pro-Moscow separatists to stop the closing of Romanian-language schools in the region.
The Romanian and Moldovan languages are nearly identical.
Transdniester broke away from Moldova in 1992 after a brief war and established a separatist government which has never been recognized by any government as legitimate.