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Romania Calls On Russia To Intervene In Transdniester

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.