18 August 2004 -- Moldova today protested what it called "inhuman and illegal actions" by separatists in its breakaway province of Transdniester who prevented Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) representatives from entering their territory.
Militia in Transdniester yesterday denied entry to two OSCE representatives, saying they would be allowed in only after the separatists and Moldovan authorities resolve a dispute over the closure of a Romanian-language school in the enclave.
In a statement today, Moldova's Foreign Ministry asked the international community "to react promptly not to allow such illegal and inhuman actions."
Tensions between Romanian-speaking Moldova and Russian-speaking Transdniester, which declared its independence from Moldova in 1990, have been increasing since separatists closed several Romanian-language schools in the region last month.
Also today, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Moldova and Transdniester to return to the negotiating table after weeks of escalating tension over school closures in the pro-Moscow Transdniester.
Putin, speaking to reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where he met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, said it was important to avoid what he called "any precipitous action" and to prevent an escalation of violence.
(AP/AFP)For the latest news on the tensions in Transdniester, see RFE/RL's webpage on Transdniester and Moldova.