Freedom House published its report for 2003 on democratic development in former communist states. The study "Nations in Transit" states in its chapter concerning Moldova that the government continued to put pressure on state-owned and independent media and remained engaged in efforts to marginalize the work of civil society groups. In addition, governance remained weak and the fight against corruption continued to be a political weapon rather than a legitimate tool for combatting wrongdoing. Efforts to settle the Transnistrian conflict made little headway during the year, as Russia failed to comply with commitments to withdraw its armament and munitions from the breakaway region. Russia also proposed a federalization plan that met strong resistance from the opposition and a large share of the population, fearing that the proposed plan could open the way to a prolonged Russian military presence in Moldova. All of these developments made the Communist government’s goal of applying for European Union membership in 2007 highly unlikely, if not impossible.