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At UN, Moldovan President Reiterates Call For Russian Troop Withdrawal


Moldovan President Maia Sandu addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22.

In a speech before the UN General Assembly in New York, President Maia Sandu again called or the departure of Russian troops from Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region.

Some 1,400 Russian troops are still stationed in Transdniester, which declared independence from Moldova in 1990, ostensibly to protect Soviet-era arms depots.

"I'd like to reiterate that our position with regard to the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the the Russian forces [from Transdniester] remains unchanged," Sandu told the General Assembly on September 22.

"This also includes the removal or the destruction of the munitions stored in the Cobasna depots (eds: in northern Transdniester) that remain a threat for the security and the environment of the region and beyond. We count on the support of the international community in reaching this objective," Sandu added.

Transdniester fought a short war in 1992 with Moldova over fears that the newly independent country would seek reunification with neighboring Romania.

The conflict ended with a cease-fire agreement after Russian troops stationed in the region since Soviet times intervened on the side of the separatists.

Several rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have failed to bring the conflict to a resolution, despite the involvement of the United States and the European Union in the mediation process.

Sandu, who defeated Russian-backed incumbent Igor Dodon in November 2020 on a ticket of closer relations with the West, has repeatedly called for Russian troops in Transdniester to be removed in favor of civilian monitors under the auspices of the OSCE.

The Kremlin has rebuffed the idea, saying it could lead to a "serious destabilization" of the situation.

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