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    MOLDOVA'S REBELLIOUS AREA INVOLVED WITH ILLEGAL WEAPONS TRADE?

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    TIRASPOL, January 31 (RIA Novosti corr. Vladimir Sandutsa) - Transdniestria is not engaged in weapons trade, its leader Igor Smirnov told a group of American journalists on Friday. Transdniestria is Moldova's rebellious territory that declared itself "the Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic independent" from Chisinau with the capital in Tiraspol in early 1990s.

    "We never sold any weapons - we lack them ourselves. We produced some only for our armed forces," he said.

    Smirnov believes articles in foreign press on Transdniestria as a center of illegal arms business are aimed at representing Russian-speaking residents of the left bank of the Dniester as terrorists, to substantiate in the future a possible military submission of that territory to Chisinau.

    "We suggested the EU and the OSCE conduct monitoring of all our so-called military factories, our delimitation line between Transdniestria with Moldova, to find out who really sells weapons. But our proposals were left unanswered," the Transdniestrian leader said.

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