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Transdniestrian Separatists Block Railway To Moldova

3 August 2004 -- Separatists in Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region have blocked off one of two railway lines linking the region to the rest of Moldova in an escalation of tensions there.

Last week, the government in Moldova ordered economic sanctions against Transdniester in response to reports that pro-Moscow separatists there were closing down schools that teach Romanian/Moldovan in the Latin script rather than Cyrillic.

Transdniestrian militiamen blocked the railway line near the city of Tighina, some 45 kilometers east of the Moldovan capital Chisinau, on 2 August and posted guards at the blockade.

Moldovan railway authorities were traveling to the area in an attempt to convince the separatists to lift the blockade.

Separatists, mainly Russian-speakers, seized Transdniester in 1992 after the Soviet Union collapsed, fearing Moldova would reintegrate with Romania. The Transdniestrian government has never been recognized by the international community.


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