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    RUSSIA IS READY TO WITHDRAW ARMS FROM TRANSDNIESTRIA SHORTLY

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    MOSCOW, April 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia will do everything to withdraw its arms from Transdniestria (de-facto independent republic on Moldovan territory) as soon as possible, Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian foreign ministry's official spokesman, said at a RIA Novosti press conference.

    Russia is sometimes unable to meet the withdrawal timeframe as there is no regular train schedule and Transdniestria is hindering the process, according to Mr Yakovenko.

    The diplomat emphasized that Russia was maintaining a constant dialogue trying to resolve the problem.

    "As soon as such agreements are reached we will start the withdrawal. However, there are issues that depend not only on Russia," Mr. Yakovenko said.

    He recalled that since Soviet era, a large amount of depots with ammunition guarded by Russian servicemen have remained in Transdniestria.

    "We are interested in their withdrawal from there as soon as possible. However, we deem it inexpedient to leave the depots unguarded, as no one knows where these armaments can disappear then," Mr. Yakovenko said.

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