Transdniester president Igor Smirnov and Supreme Soviet chairman Grigory Marakutsa yesterday told a Tiraspol briefing that their fundamental condition for any settlement of the regional conflict is a permanent presence of the Russian Army in that part of Moldova. The two leaders were speaking one day after their negotiating session with President Mircea Snegur in Chisinau adjourned without significant results other than agreement to repair damaged Dniester bridges at Chisinau’s expense. Smirnov and Marakutsa said that they had proposed stipulating in the political agreement a term of "100 or 200 years" for the stationing of Russian troops in Transdniester and that Chisinau ignored the demand. (Basapress, Flux, April 23 & 24)
Chisinau and Tiraspol have lately worked under the pressure of a May 17 deadline for a Kremlin meeting with Boris Yeltsin at which an interim agreement on the basic principles of settling the conflict is supposed to be signed. A draft submitted last week by Yeltsin’s mediator Yuri Karlov also made provision for the stationing of Russian troops to guarantee the eventual settlement.
Azerbaijan Outlines Goals for Cooperation with NATO.