13:19 GMT30 May 2020
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    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday that the US Navy's plans to construct facilities for urban military training in Moldova are an indicator that the United States has started preparing Moldova's special forces for a potential military conflict with Transnistria.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, media reported about US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Southwest Asia (NAVFAC EURAFSWA) plans to construct eight training facilities for military operations in urban terrain at the Bulboaca training base in Moldova, citing a pre-solicitation notice, issued on June 25.

    "The Americans start training of special operations forces of the Republic of Moldova in case of a new armed conflict with Transnistria," Rogozin wrote on his Facebook page, commenting on the media report.

    Transnistria, a region with a predominantly ethnically Russian and Ukrainian population, seceded from the Soviet Republic of Moldova in 1990, fearing a possible reunion with Romania. The separation led to an armed conflict that ended in a ceasefire in July 1992, although the issue remains unresolved.

    Since 2005, talks on Transnistrian peace have been held in the so-called "5+2 format," which includes Moldova, Transnistria, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, and Ukraine, plus the European Union and the United States in external observers roles.

    Moldova is constitutionally neutral, which means it does not participate or support any belligerents in wars. At the same time, Moldova has been cooperating with NATO since joining the Partnership for Peace in 1994. The cooperation also extends to the Individual Partnership Action Plan, which Moldova became a part of in 2006.

    Between July 24 and August 5, over 140 servicemen from the United States and Moldova participated in the Dragoon Pioneer 2017 joint drills at Bulboaca training base.


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