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Moldova Asks NATO to Kick Russian Peacekeepers Out of Transnistria

© Flickr / Dieter ZirnigBorder between Transnistria and Moldova
Border between Transnistria and Moldova - Sputnik International
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Moldova's Minister of Defense Anatolie Salaru has turned to NATO leadership asking for help evicting a Russian peacemaker contingent from Transnistria, RIA Novosti reported citing sources in the country’s defense ministry.

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The plea was voiced during NATO summit in Warsaw, which was held on July 8-9, when Salaru was delivering his speech. In his address, the minister stressed that despite its military neutrality, Moldova stays on an “open front of non-military standoff” with Russia.

“Propaganda, economic measures, pendency of Transnistria problem along with deployment of Russian forces remain a consistent source of concerns,” Salaru lamented.

The conflict between Transnistria and Moldova began in Soviet times and exacerbated to military standoff following the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s. At the time Russia had sent its peacemakers in the region to stabilize the situation.

“We ask to support our initiative of transforming Transnistria mission into multinational civil mission," Salaru said. "We also insist that the forces and military equipment of Russian Federation be withdrawn from the territory of Moldova in accordance with international obligations."

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Salaru has also stepped up with an idea of holding NATO war games in Moldova in 2019 with a further goal of establishing a new regional training center for the alliance’s forces in the country.

“Moldova will endeavor its best efforts to become a reliable partner to the alliance,” he pointed out.

However, Chisinau isn’t expected to be accepted to the military bloc anytime soon. A Moldova’s Ambassador to Russia told Sputnik the issue is not even on the talk table.

Earlier, Salaru said that the alliance isn’t going to provide Chisinau with weapons, despite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s pledge to enhance the country’s military capabilities.

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