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    Transdnestr situation source of concern - Foreign Ministry

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    MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - The situation around Transdnestr (a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova) causes concern, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    Alexander Yakovenko said the Joint Control Commission (JCC), which active in the security zone since 1992 in the wake of bloody clashes after Trandnestr declared independence, had been encountering serious problems since the last fall. The JCC acts in the security zone as political and military body for the control of the peacekeeping operation, which involves military contingents from Russia, Moldova and Transdnestr and observers from Ukraine and the OSCE. The problems started after Moldova decided to suspend its participation in the negotiating process on the political settlement and to apply economic pressure on Transdnestr, which harms people living in the both the breakaway region and Moldova.

    Yakovenko said that by ignoring the opinion of the international community Chisinau had assumed a stand blocking the efforts of the JCC and refused to participate even in extraordinary sessions.

    "It is difficult to say with any certainty what the motives of [our] Moldovan partners are," Yakovenko said, "but it seems that the intentional escalation of the situation is designed to isolate Tiraspol and remove from the negotiating process."

    He said that, in other words, attempts to reverse the course of the Transdnestr settlement had influenced Moldovan authorities' approach to the peacekeeping process.

    Yakovenko said, since the beginning of the Transdnestr conflict, Russia had offered its services as a mediator to both sides and had assumed the responsibility of guaranteeing the results of the political settlement.

    "We continue to cooperate constructively with Ukrainian and OSCE mediators, to hold consultations with interested Western partners and work on the issue, taking into account all the reached agreements and peacekeeping mechanisms, which all these years have kept the situation in Transdnestr under control," the ministry spokesman said.

    Yakovenko added: "We are firmly convinced that no illusions about an armed solution to the conflict could be an alternative to negotiations between the both sides, which can only find a mutually acceptable settlement model with the support of the population in both Moldova and Transdnestr."

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