In a wide-ranging address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and a news conference in Strassburg September 27, Moldovan president Mircea Snegur solicited Western support for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova and for a settlement in Transdniester. Snegur pointed out that the Russian side had failed to ratify the October 1994 troop withdrawal agreement and was keeping the troops in Moldova despite the country’s constitutional ban on the stationing of foreign troops and its obligation of neutrality. He called attention to the Transdniester authorities’ ban on the Latin script and other repressive measures, and decried their rejection of Chisinau’s offer of regional autonomy short of a separate state. (11)
Snegur weakened his own case by declaring his confidence in Boris Yeltsin’s readiness to personally solve the troop problem–an assumption to which Snegur has appeared to hold since Moldova became independent and which inhibits more active steps by Chisinau itself. To avoid irritating the Russian president, Snegur has yet to authorize his government and diplomats to bring the issue of Russian troops in Moldova before the United Nations and other high-level forums. If Chisinau continues to expect an initiative from Moscow, the upcoming legislative and presidential elections in Russia would seem to presage continued deadlock into 1997, three years after the signing of the unhonored withdrawal agreement.
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