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Rail Link With Moldova's Breakaway Region Restored

Railroad cargo traffic between Moldova and its breakaway Transdniester region has resumed for the first time in six years.

Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat and the leader of Moldova's separatist region, Yevgeny Shevchuk, held talks and took part in the ceremony marking the resumption of the railroad operations that had been stopped in 2006.

Shevchuk told journalists that the sides also agreed to resume automobile traffic via a bridge over the Dniester River that was disrupted 20 years ago.

Filat said Chisinau and Tiraspol agreed to establish cooperation in the health-care sector and to resume telephone communications.

Transdniester, located along Moldova's border with Ukraine and mainly populated by Russian speakers, has ruled itself since breaking away from the largely Romanian-speaking Moldova in a brief war in 1992.

Its de facto independence has not been recognized internationally.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS