New bill may give Moldova leverage over Russian base withdrawal

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Moscow, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - The new bill on the self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic could give Moldovan authorities additional leverage in pressuring Russia to withdraw its military bases from the breakaway republic, a leading Russian analyst said Monday. Sergei Markov, President of Russia's National Civil Council for Foreign Policies, said the bill, forcing the region back into Moldova's fold as an autonomy, is a digression from a peaceful settlement of the long-standing conflict.

He accused the Moldovan authorities of trying to deceive Europe and said they were unwilling to recognize the region's rights and may use their new bill to legitimize the use of force against the region.

He also said the document made no mention of federalism, whereas reconfiguring Moldova into a federal state could provide a way out of the deadlock.

Markov said the bill implied the Moldovan authorities' refusal to negotiate the possibility of changing their country's state structure - an issue crucial to the conflict settlement. He also said the Moldovan government's insistence on the democratization of the region was hypocritical.

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