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Moldovan Separatists Say Romania Not Needed At Talks

CHISINAU -- A Transdniestrian official today rejected any suggestions that Romania might join international talks to resolve the future of the breakaway Moldovan region, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Vladimir Yastrembchak, Transdniester's foreign minister, said in the Transdniestrian capital, Tiraspol, on February 3 that Romania is already represented at the negotiations by the European Union, which Bucharest joined in 2007.

Yastrembchak was reacting to remarks made in Moldova last week by visiting Romanian President Traian Basescu, who said his country should not have relinquished the role it had in Transdniester negotiations in the early 1990s.

Transdniester's population is predominantly Slavic. It split with predominantly Romanian-speaking Moldova after a short war in 1992, which was fueled mainly by fears that Moldova would seek to reunify with Romania following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moldova, with the exception of Transdniester, was part of Romania until World War II.

The lengthy negotiations to resolve Moldova's "frozen conflict" have been led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia, and Ukraine, with the United States and the EU acting as observers.