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Moldova: Putin Presents Plan To Settle Transdniester Conflict

Moscow, 17 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin today said Moscow has presented a plan for settling Moldova's decade-old conflict with its breakaway republic of Transdniester. Putin told a Russian cabinet meeting that the plan reflects the views of both the Moldovan leadership and separatists in the Russian-speaking separatist province.

Kremlin aide Dmitrii Kozak said the plan envisaged making Moldova a federation and giving broad autonomy to Transdniester and Gagauz, a southern province of mainly ethnic Turks.

Kozak said the plan, if approved by both sides, could serve as a basis for a new Moldovan constitution to be put to a referendum next year. There was no immediate reaction from Moldova.

Transdniester seceded from Moldova after the breakup of the Soviet Union, triggering a short but bloody separatist conflict.

Hundreds of Russian troops remain stationed in Transdniester.