Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 123

In an address to a Transdniester congress of people’s deputies from the Soviets [legislative and administrative authorities] of all levels, Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov rejected Moldova’s offer of regional autonomy as "less than accorded to the Gagauz." He criticized Moldova’s foreign policy as "oriented toward the West," and reaffirmed Transdniester’s own orientation toward Moscow, "given that this territory lies in the zone of Russia’s interests." He endorsed president Boris Yeltsin’s September 14 decree on Russia’s policy within the CIS and said that Transdniester was willing to join a CIS collective security system. He also called for "maintaining our army in a permanent state of combat readiness despite the economic hardships." (12)

Chisinau’s offer of autonomy contains a far-reaching devolution of powers, including republic status, for Transdniester; but Chisinau’s failure to make it public facilitates misrepresentation. Transdniester leaders hold out the prospect of joining the CIS and eventual accession to the Russian Federation, against the opposition of more radical faction which seeks immediate admission. Those leaders are preparing a Transdniester constitution intended to cement the secession of Transdniester from Moldova.

Russian Naval Blockade of Sukhumi Explained.