At the end of hisvisit to Chisinau June 27, Russian defense minister Pavel Grachevrejected Moldovan calls for international supervision of the withdrawalof the 14th army and its materiel from the Transdniestr region,Basarpress and Flux reported. Grachev suggested that any withdrawalwould take place after the Duma ratified the interstate agreements,something the Russian parliament is unlikely to do given pastvotes, and that Moscow would pull its forces only after it hadwithdrawn its military equipment. The Russian defense ministerrenewed his demand for an agreement on basing, and for a mandatefor Russian-led peacekeeping, but in the face of Moldovan opposition,he acknowledged that such steps would be possible only if Chisinauagreed. But speaking to officers of the 14th army in Tiraspol,Grachev said that Moscow planned to create a military base inMoldova’s Transdniestr region. He said that the base would houseboth a motorized infantry brigade and an aviation wing with atotal troop strength of 3500, Basarpress and Flux reported. Inother comments, Grachev said that the Russian military would nolonger recruit local residents into its ranks.
Moscow TV Welcomes Grachev’s Position. A