Transdnestr says NATO exercises pose threat to its security

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The self-proclaimed republic of Transdnestr said Monday it regards NATO-led command-and-staff exercises in Moldova as an escalation of a military threat against it.
TIRASPOL, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - The self-proclaimed republic of Transdnestr said Monday it regards NATO-led command-and-staff exercises in Moldova as an escalation of a military threat against it.

The Cooperative Lancer/Longbow-2006 exercises, part of the Partnership for Peace program, are underway in Moldova from September 11 until September 29.

"We regard these exercises as an escalating threat to the Republic of Transdnestr," Oleg Gudymo, chairman of the Security, Defense and Peacekeeping Committee at the republic's Supreme Council said.

Nine NATO member countries (Bulgaria, the UK, Hungary, Greece, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, the U.S. and Turkey), and 12 partner states (Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine, Croatia and Switzerland) are participating in the exercise.

"Transdnestr must be part of these exercises because we, along with Moldova and Russia, have been equal partners in peacekeeping operation since 1993," he said. "And if those are indeed peacekeeping exercises, these criteria must be met, as well."

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