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Ukraine: Kuchma Hosts Russian, Moldovan Presidents In Odessa

Odesa, 17 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova held talks today in the Black Sea port city of Odesa to try to find a solution to the problem of Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region and other matters. Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said he was satisfied, "as never before" with progress in securing Transdniester as a legitimate part of Moldova, but did not elabortate on the issue. Separatists in the predominantly Russian-speaking region broke the territory away from Moldova after a short war in 1992.

Voronin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma agreed further discussions on the subject would be pursued at a meeting of the CIS Customs and Border Guard chiefs later this week and at the CIS summit in Moldova at the end of May.

Kuchma and Voronin also expressed interest in their countries joining the Eurasian Economic Community, which currently is comprised of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Belarus.