Moldovan separatists on Friday called on the government to start talks to allow their breakaway region split “peacefully’’ from the country.
Separatists in the Trans-Dniester region said they want “ a civilized and permanent settlement of good neighborly between two independent states,” News.ro reported.
Separatist authorities said they had asked the United Nations, to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe and others to recognize the region which broke away from Moldova in 1990.
Separatists said they moved because Moldova had formally asked to join the European Union this week, something leaders disagree with.
The self-proclaimed republic hosts an estimated 1,500 Russian troops acting as „peacekeepers” after a war in 1992 war led to a ceasefire and no lasting political solution between Moldova and the eastern region.
For Moldovans, Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine brings back memories of the country’s own conflict involving Moscow-backed separatists 30 years ago.
It is also stirring fears that the country might become Russia’s next target.
The separatist region is about 80 kilometers to the east of Chisinau.
Not recognized by the international community, Moscow keeps about 1,500 troops there and a stockpile of some 20,000 tons of munitions.
In response to President Maia Sandu’s formal application to join the EU, the Tiraspol Foreign Department called on Moldova’s government to “definitively resolve” the conflict and sign an interstate agreement.
“This is a geopolitical decision which changes the international borders and spheres of influence in the region,” a statement from department said.
“Trans-Dniester calls on the Republic of Moldova to respect the right of the Dniestran people to self-determination and to establish diplomatic relations.”