Saturday, May 3, 2008

Moldova Blames Romania for Separatist Row

02 May 2008
Bucharest _ Moldova’s President has accused Romania of being behind a still unresolved separatist conflict on its territory.

“I think far from everybody knows that it was precisely Romania who forced (Moldovan President Mircea) Snegur to unleash war on the Dniester," Vladimir Voronin said in a televised address.

"As soon as we begin near resolve the Transdniester question, Romania immediately falls into hysteria. (Romania’s President Traian) Basescu spits everything out of himself," Voronin claimed.

The mainly Russian-speaking Transdniester region proclaimed independence from Moldova in 1990, when both were still part of the Soviet Union.

About 700 people died in clashes before a ceasefire in 1992, and Transdniester still claims to be independent despite being recognised by no other country.

Russia keeps troops in the region, which is home to much of Moldova's heavy industry.

Voronin and Transdniester leader, Igor Smirnov met for the first time in seven years, last month to restart peace talks.

However Voronin claimed Bucharest was working to even undermine these talks.

"Nine Romanian special services are working to suppress our initiatives," he alleged.

“For years we have attempted to improve relations… but we have found that everywhere we go, there were (political) minefields left behind by our predecessors ... and outsiders in the conflict ... that detonated at our every step," Voronin argued.

Moldova was part of Romania from 1918 to 1940 and the two countries share the same ethnic and linguistic background.

But relations between the two countries have sunk under Voronin’s Presidency, with the Moldovan leader accusing Romania of trying to annex his country.

In 2007 Moldova stopped Romania from opening two consulates in the country claiming Bucharest was trying to lure Moldovan citizens.

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