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19 Sep, 2006 06:46

The US, EU and Moldova refuse to recognize Transdniester's referendum

The US, EU and Moldova refuse to recognize Transdniester's referendum

The US and the EU insist they will not recognize the results of a referendum which demonstrated the people in the breakaway republic of Transdniester overwhelmingly in support of independence from Moldova.

On Monday, Transdniester's Central Election Commission declared 97.1 per cent of the electorate voted for independence and closer integration with Russia.

Transdniester has made it abundantly clear it backs the idea of independence and joining Russia.

Transdniester President Mr. Smirnov states as far as the question of future relations with the Russian Federation, “I can say it is already a subject of immediate discussion. Our citizens consider their future as part of the Russian Federation.”

However the international community does not recognize the vote. Moldova condemns the poll as a political farce. The Organization for Security and Сooperation in Europe says the lack of basic requirements for free and fair elections pre-determined the results of the vote. The European Union insists the best scenario for Transdniester is to integrate with Moldova, not Russia. The United States encourages all parties to return to the negotiating table for talks. Moscow also calls for negotiations between both sides but defends Transdniester's right to self-determination. Following the announcement of the results, Moscow gave no indication of whether it will eventually absorb the republic, a move that could sour relations with Moldova and the international community.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s FM said

“I think it’s another confirmation of an indisputable thesis that solving conflicts should be based on all the agreements reached. Deviation from the agreements as it happened with the Moldovan leadership can always lead to an aggravation of the situation. We have always been for calming the situation down and to make the parties return to talks.”

Our guest in studio Vitaly Zhuravlev – an expert of the Russians Abroad Institute comments:

There is no reason not recognize the results of the referendum by Moscow. But of course recognizing the results of the referendum is different from recognizing the nation of Transdniester. For the diplomatic recognition of the nation – you have to work within international laws and the territorial integrity of Moldova.

Transdniester says it will begin negotiations with Moscow on harmonizing its legislation with Russia. The republic's government says integration with the Russian Federation could take up to five years.