Transdniester president Igor Smirnov yesterday charged that the central government of Moldova plans to invite NATO troops for a “Bosnia-type military solution” to the Dniester conflict. “Transdniester will never accept the entry of NATO troops, even if Moldova joins the NATO alliance,” Smirnov vowed. “They can destroy us but they can’t subdue us.” He also chastised Chisinau’s recent steps toward internationalizing the negotiations toward a settlement of the conflict. Smirnov spoke on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the “Dniester-Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic” and of his own election as its leader. (Russian agencies, September 1)
On September 2, 1990, local Russian leaders proclaimed Transdniester’s secession from Moldova in the name of preserving socialism and the USSR. At that time and later, Moscow supported Transdniester’s secession in order to retain a strategic foothold between Ukraine, Moldova, and the Balkans. Transdniester leaders portray themselves as guardians of historic Russian interests and, more recently, as an obstacle to NATO’s enlargement. The latter part of the argument seeks to justify the continuing presence of Russian troops in that part of Moldova.
KOCHARIAN CHOOSES ARMENIAN-AMERICAN AS SPOKESWOMAN.