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Moldova's breakaway Dniester region will hold a referendum on independence
Moldova's breakaway Dniester region will hold a referendum on independence, and let international observers monitor it, said a declaration adopted by the 6th extraordinary congress of the deputies of all levels. The congress took place in Tiraspol on Friday. It addressed the parliaments of Russia and Ukraine with the request to initiate the recognition of independence of the Dniester region. The deputies also urged Russia to boost the peacekeeping contingent in the region in connection with the tensions that developed after Kiev imposed a new customs regime on the Dniester stretch of the Moldova-Ukrainian border. "Over the years of its existence, the Dniester region has proved its independence and self-sufficiency. The objective of the new plebiscite is to make sure international organizations hear the opinion of our people," speaker of the Dniester parliament Yevgeny Shevchuk said. He objected to the Dniester region's being part of Moldova. "The world already has many precedents of settling similar political conflicts peacefully," the speaker said. He expressed the hope that international organizations will provide assistance in holding the referendum. The congress' declaration says "Moldova's actions aimed at an economic blockade of the Dniester region have destroyed the principles along which it was planned to build a common state with Moldova." The text calls upon the Moldovan leadership "to return to the course of peaceful negotiations, interrupted in the autumn of 2001." Taking part the congress were 660 delegates: 307 from municipalities or district councils and 353 from rural councils, according to the mandate commission
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