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    BRUSSELS, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Shishlo). The European Union has extended until February 27, 2005 the sanctions - travel restrictions - on members of the leadership of Transdnestr (a self-proclaimed republic within Moldavia with a predominantly Russian-speaking population) who are claimed in Brussels to be refusing to help conclude a political agreement to settle the Transdnestr conflict.

    The decision was taken at a sitting of the Council of the European Union on common affairs and foreign policy on Monday.

    As is reported in materials on the sitting's results, the sanctions stipulate in particular a ban on the issue of visas to European Union member-countries for Transdnestr leaders. It is further noted that the ban may be lifted if the leadership of Transdnestr shows the good will in ensuring peaceful settlement of the conflict.

    The foreign ministers of the European Union member-countries stressed that its resolution is the key to stability and prosperity in Moldavia and to full implementation of the potential of bilateral relations between the EU and Moldavia.

    The foreign ministers spoke in favour of an early peace settlement of the Transdnestr conflict with full respect for Moldavia's territorial integrity and with OSCE assistance.

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