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Moldovan FM: Russia Should Withdraw Troops From Transdniester

Moldovan Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman has called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the breakaway Transdniester region.

Speaking at the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade on December 4, Gherman said Russia should comply with international obligations and help transform the current peacekeeping operation in the breakaway region into a civilian mission with an international mandate.

Gherman added that international talks on a resolution of the Transdniester issue must continue.

Russia had pledged to withdraw its 1,500 troops -- who have been stationed in Transdniester since Soviet times -- by 2002 under a 1999 agreement brokered by the OSCE, but it has failed to do so.

Transdniester declared independence from Moldova in 1990 and fought a war with Moldovan forces in 1992 that left some 1,500 people dead.

Based on reporting by Interfax and

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