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Moldovan President Voronin's innuendo of quid pro quo deal with Russia

In an interview with the Russian daily "Kommersant," Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin hinted that Russia had withdrawn its opposition to a 2005 plan to resolve the Transdniester conflict. In the interview published on March 11, Voronin implied that in return Moscow asked for formal assurances from Moldova of its "neutrality," meaning that Moldova will not apply for NATO membership.

President Voronin added that Chisinau was drafting a document affirming Moldova's neutrality and would ask Russia, Ukraine, the United States, the EU, and the OSCE to sign it in token of recognizing this neutrality status which is stipulated in the Moldovan Constitution..

Voronin said he discussed the proposal with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last month on the eve of the informal CIS summit. The proposal envisages autonomy within Moldova for both Transdniester and the Gagauz-Yeri Autonomous Administration. Transdniester would retain its own coat of arms and flag, and three state languages: Moldovan, Russian, and Ukrainian. The Russian peacekeepers in Transdniester would be replaced by civilian observers. Voronin did not specify when the package of agreements may be signed.

On the other hand, Voronin made the innuendo that the Moldovan parliament might vote to withdraw from the GUAM organization, of which Moldova was one of the four founding members in 1997 together with Georgia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.Voronin stated that in the beginning GUAM had "quite different objectives," and that he saw no advantage to be gained from remaining within an organization whose future prospects were "dubious."