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Yushchenko Meets Transdniester Head

14 July 2005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko today met in Kyiv with the leader of Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region to discuss Ukraine's proposal to settle the conflict.

Yushchenko proposed a seven-point peace plan in May that envisions granting broad autonomy but keeping the province within Moldova's borders.

The Ukrainian government said Yushchenko and Igor Smirnov discussed "a number of questions of a political and economic character."

Deputy information minister of the Transdniester region, Svetlana Antonova, told RFE/RL the two leaders discussed the Yushchenko plan.

"As far as I know there was only one goal [for the meeting]: to discuss problems concerning the [Transdniester] settlement and the seven-step plan presented by Viktor Andriyevych [Yushchenko]," Antonova said.

Transdniester broke away from Moldova, a former Soviet republic, in 1990. The two sides fought a war in 1992 that left more than 1,500 people dead.

The province, which borders Ukraine, is not recognized internationally but receives strong support from Russia.