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U.S. Ambassador Reassures Moldova Over Missile Shield Plans

Asif Chaudhry
Asif Chaudhry
CHISINAU -- The U.S. ambassador to Moldova said today that a planned antimissile shield in neighboring Romania would only enhance the region's security and have absolutely no negative impact on Moldova, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Ambassador Asif J. Chaudhry said at a press conference in Chisinau that the antimissile system would be "strictly defensive" and designed to protect Europe against possible attacks from Iran.

Moldova is neutral, as stated in its constitution, and has strong ties with Russia, which deploys several hundred peackeepers in the separatist Moldovan region of Transdniester.

NATO-member Romania announced last week it has agreed to host elements of the new U.S. shield, and insisted the plan was not directed against Russia.

Moldova's former Communist president, Vladimir Voronin, criticized the Romanian announcement and said the shield would bring Moldova "onto the frontline" of any future confrontations.