TIRASPOL, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - The president of
the unrecognized Moldovan republic of Transdnestr said on
Tuesday a Russian military base could be established in the
"If Russia needs military bases here, we have legislation
on Russian troops," Igor Smirnov told journalists.
The leaders of Russia, Moldova and Transdnestr agreed last
Wednesday to continue talks on the issue of the disputed
Transdnestr region at a meeting in Moscow. The leaders
confirmed the importance of the five-plus-two format,
comprising Russia, Ukraine, the Collective Security Treaty
Organization, the U.S. the EU, Moldova and Transdnestr.
Relations between Moldova and its rebel region have been
tense since March 1992, when Moldova declared its independence
from the Soviet Union, and Transdnestr in turn proclaimed
itself a republic. Russia has had peacekeepers in the area
since July 1992, and the negotiation process has been frozen
since February 2006.
Hopes that talks would finally resume were given a boost
after a meeting between the presidents of Transdnestr and
Moldova in the Transdnestr city of Bendery in April last year.
However, another round of talks, scheduled for September 2008,
was called off after the parties failed to agree on a venue.