In a statement on 2 August, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry deplored the remarks Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov had made last week about Russian peacekeeping troops in Transdniester. Ivanov said Moscow was not going to withdraw its force from Transdniester as long as Russian depots with weapons and ammunition remained in the region. Ivanov also noted that the Russian troops were staying there under Moldovan and Transdniestrian mandates.
"Chisinau's position regarding the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons from Moldovan territory in strict accordance with the Istanbul agreements remains as firm as it has been over the years since the summit" - the Moldovan Foreign Ministry’s statement read. In 1999, at an OSCE summit in Istanbul, Russia pledged to withdraw its troops and military equipment from Transdniester by 2002.