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U.S. Troops Arriving In Moldova For Training Exercises

Moldova’s government says about 200 U.S. soldiers will arrive in Moldova on May 2 for military exercises scheduled to last for more than two weeks.

The Defense Ministry in Chisinau said the U.S. troops would arrive from Romania in dozens of armored vehicles.

About 165 Moldovan troops also are scheduled to take part in the exercises.

The U.S. Embassy in Chisinau said the May 3-20 training exercises would include basic demolition operations, medical treatment and evacuation, and field maintenance.

Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition says it will stage protests against the exercises.

Moldova joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994.

Russia has had about 1,500 soldiers stationed in Moldova’s breakaway eastern region of Transdniester since a cease-fire deal brought an end to the separatist conflict there in 1992.

About 380 of those Russian soldiers are deployed under an international peacekeeping mandate while the rest are soldiers from Russia’s 14th Guards Army.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP