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Prime Minister of Moldova calls for withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria

We want to have balanced, friendly relations with Moscow, when our trade cooperation is not be politicized, and the dialogue is based on mutual respect, Filip said

MUNICH, February 17. /TASS/. Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip, who is taking part the Munich Security Conference, has spoken for withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria breakaway region.

"We want to have balanced, friendly relations with Moscow, when our trade cooperation is not be politicized, and the dialogue is based on mutual respect," he said at a round-table meeting on Saturday. His words are quoted by the press service of the government of the republic.

Touching upon a "difficult situation" in relations between the two countries, Philip expressed hope for "Russia's sincere intention to help in the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and withdraw its armed forces and ammunition from the territory of the Republic of Moldova."

The head of the Moldovan government also expressed concern about the "situation of uncertainty hanging over Eastern Europe."

This year the Munich Security Conference 2018 takes place from 16 to 18 February 2018.

President of Moldova has a different view

The Moldovan government has repeatedly raised the issue of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria and the transformation of the peacekeeping operation into a civilian mission under an international mandate.

Supporting the country's stronger neutrality Moldovan President Igor Dodon said that before reorganizing the peacekeeping operation, it is necessary to settle the Transnistrian conflict, negotiations on which have been stalled for many years.

The authorities of Transnistria are against the withdrawal of Russian military, who are considered guarantors of peace.

About the conflict

Transnistria, a largely Russian-speaking region, broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Its relations with Moldova’s central government in Chisinau have been highly mixed and extremely tense at times ever since then. In 1992 and 1993, tensions erupted into a deadly armed conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides.

The peace agreement signed in Moscow in July 1992 put an end to the civil war and Russian peacekeepers were brought into the area of the conflict. Currently, they support peace in the security zone along the Dniester, together with the blue helmets of Moldova, Transnistria and a group of military observers from Ukraine.

Also a task force of Russian troops comprising about 1,000 soldiers and officers has been accommodated in the region. They take part in the peacekeeping operation and also protect the military depots in Kolbasna. The depots store more than 20,000 tonnes of ammunition, which were brought there after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from European countries. Moldova wants these weapons to be removed, but the recycling and transportation that began in 2001 were blocked by the Transnistrian authorities in 2004 after the tension between the two banks of the Dniester aggravated.