Moldovan parliament grants autonomy status to Transnistria region

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Chisinau, July 22 (RIA Novosti, Vladimir Novosadyuk) - The Moldovan Parliament has passed a bill granting the self-proclaimed Transnistria republic autonomy status.

Moldovan authorities regard the breakaway republic as a renegade province and want to bring it back into their fold.

According to the new bill, once a democratically elected government is installed in the region and Russia withdraws its military bases, in keeping with the obligations assumed at the OSCE summit in Istanbul in 1999, Moldovan and Transnistrian officials will negotiate a status for the troubled region.

The bill gives top legislative authority to the autonomy's Supreme Soviet. It says the region's courts and law-enforcement agencies are a constituent part of Moldova's judiciary and shall act accordingly.

The bill says the new autonomy may use its own emblems alongside the national emblems of Moldova. Its official languages are Moldovan, Ukrainian and Russian, but Moldova guarantees there will be no linguistic discrimination against any other of the region's communities.

The bill also formalizes the region's right to independently establish and maintain economic, scientific and cultural cooperation with the outside world as long as its activities do not contradict Moldovan laws.

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