Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 70

Soldiers loyal to the illegal acting defense minister, Maj. General Tudor Dabija, yesterday turned back the lawful minister, Lt. General Pavel Creanga, who attempted to enter the Defense Ministry building accompanied by government officials and parliamentary deputies. President Mircea Snegur’s military and national security advisors are running the ministry with Dabija despite the Constitutional Court verdict which ruled Snegur’s "removal" of Creanga and appointment of Dabija illegal. Snegur now claims to act under his own decree, which gives him "direct command" of the armed forces. Creanga said in a statement yesterday that "the attempt by certain forces to win the army over to their side is fraught with tragic consequences for the army and the state." He echoed parliamentary and government leaders in urging the army to obey the constitution. (Basapress, Flux, Reuter, April 9 & 10)

Military and political officials told The Monitor that the president has issued an "Order No. 3" forbidding access of parliamentary deputies and civilian government officials to military units and also severely restricting the access of soldiers in the barracks to the mass media. The president has not managed to control media coverage of events. His recent proposals to remove several key media editors were blocked by parliament, which retains a substantial say in mass media oversight. Officials also said this morning that Prime Minister Andrei Sanghel’s and parliament chairman Petru Lucinschi’s attempts in recent days to contact Snegur by telephone to discuss the crisis have been unsuccessful as Snegur has failed to return the calls.