MOSCOW EXPECTS CHISINAU, TIRASPOL TO RESPOND TO ITS PROPOSAL TO HOLD URGENT SESSION

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MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow expects the political leadership of Moldova and Transdniestria (self-proclaimed republic in Moldovan territory) to respond to Russia's proposal to hold an urgent session of the sides' representatives and intermediaries in order to work out mutually beneficial steps to settle the conflict. The press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced this to RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Russian State Secretary, First Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin met with Transdniestrian Foreign Minister Valery Litskai.

"During the meeting the Russian side expressed deep concern about the recent aggravation of Chisinau-Tiraspol relations," the Foreign Ministry reported.

"In this situation the sides should take all efforts to avoid further escalation of tensions and find a civilized solution of the school problem in Transdniestria [the schools that use the Moldovan language and Latin alphabet] and give up methods of mutual economic blockade," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

According to Russian peacekeepers' commander in Transdniestria Colonel Anatoly Zverev, the Transdniestrian authorities have blocked Moldova's railway communications in the eastern and southern directions near Bendery. Concrete blocks were placed on the lines.

In addition to Transdniestrian policemen, representatives of public organizations control these lines and refuse to unblock traffic, the colonel said.

Bendery mayor Alexander Posudnevsky told RIA Novosti that the situation in the town was stable, controllable and calm.

"We have enough food products and living essentials. There will be no humanitarian catastrophe," the mayor emphasized.

According to Olvia-press, the Transdniestrian official information agency, this is Tiraspol's response to Moldova's sanctions against economic agents of the region introduced on August 1.

Hundreds of cars cannot leave Transdniestria because the lack of quality certificates and other accompanying papers, which are not granted by Chisinau, the agency reported. The Rybnitsky metallurgical plant is in the worst condition. The expedition of finished products and reception of scrap metals needed for further production have been blocked.

Transdniestria is Moldova's most industrially developed region.

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