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TIRASPOL, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Leader of the breakaway Transdniestria region Yevgeny Shevchuk has said Russia’s military presence in the unrecognized republic guarantees its security.He said at events on the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the peacekeeping operation on Tuesday that “Transdniestria’s residents realize the crucial role of the Russian ‘blue helmets’ in ensuring our country’s security.” “Russian peacekeepers must stay here until a political formula to resolve differences with the Moldovan authorities is found,” he said.
The Transdniestrian Republic head took part in a flower laying ceremony at the monument to Russian General Lebed who stopped an armed conflict in the Dniester region in 1992. By that time, more than 1,000 people were killed in clashes; tens of thousands were wounded and displaced.
Joint peacekeeping forces of Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria, as well as a group of military observers from Ukraine are now maintaining peace on the two banks of the Dniester River. No violence outbreaks have been recorded in the region during their presence, which allowed Chisinau and Tiraspol to negotiate peaceful settlement of disputes.
Moldova says the conflict is over and calls for changing the existing peacekeeping format by deploying an international mission of OSCE observers.