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15:44 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Transdnestr for independence, union with Russia - referendum

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The vast majority of the population of Transdnestr, a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova, voted Sunday for independence and future accession to Russia, the central election committee said Monday.
TIRASPOL, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - The vast majority of the population of Transdnestr, a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova, voted Sunday for independence and future accession to Russia, the central election committee said Monday.

Transdnestr held a referendum to decide whether it should continue seeking independence and union with Russia. No public disturbances were registered at the polls, a Transdnestr government official earlier said.

More than 389,000 registered voters were asked to answer two questions -- whether they want the Transdnestr Region's independence from Moldova and its subsequent union with Russia, or whether they believe the region should become part of Moldova.

The election committee said 78.6% of voters participated in the referendum. According to preliminary results, 97.1% of voters cast their ballots in favor of independence and union with Russia.

More than 130 international observers participated in monitoring the Sunday referendum in the breakaway republic. They said they did not register any procedural violations during the secret balloting.

Commenting on the preliminary results of the Transdnestr referendum, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament said Monday that the population of the self-proclaimed republic voted for future union with Russia in hopes of resolving the long-running conflict with Moldova as soon as possible.

"The referendum in Transdnestr, conducted in conditions of political instability and economic blockade, became a form of expression of public will, which reflects the desire of the population to live in stability and predictability," Sergei Mironov said.

Transdnestr, which has a predominantly Russian-speaking population, proclaimed its independence from Moldova in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Armed clashes between Moldova and Transdnestr ensued, and Russia has retained a military presence in the breakaway region ever since.