The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a special resolution urging Russia to withdraw its troops from Moldova. The resolution expresses concern over Russia’s "tergiversation" in implementing the 1994 troop withdrawal agreement and calls on Russia to carry it out without delay. It also urges the U.S. State Department to act, both within the framework of U.S.-Russia bilateral relations and through international institutions, to secure the withdrawal of the troops. In addition, the resolution reaffirms "unconditional" support for Moldova’s territorial integrity and notes with approval the willingness of Ukraine to assist in settling the Transdniester conflict. The U.S. Senate is expected to adopt the resolution this week. (Flux, Basapress, September 30)
Prime Ministers Viktor Chernomyrdin and Andrei Sangheli signed the agreement in October 1994, but Moscow later claimed that implementation requires ratification by the Duma. A majority in the Duma strongly oppose the withdrawal and the Russian executive branch has been content to hide behind the legislature, effectively turning the agreement into a dead letter. The Council of Europe listed the withdrawal of troops from Moldova among the conditions for Russia’s admission to the CE almost one year ago, and both branches of the Russian government pledged to comply. But Russia’s executive continues to claim that the withdrawal agreement requires the Duma’s ratification-a condition not stipulated in the agreement itself.
Armed Clashes Accompany Rival Georgian and Abkhaz Anniversaries.