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Chisinau intends to give Transdniester broad autonomy

Vladimir Voronin said on 12 April that the government is drafting a bill on Transdniester's status that would give the separatist region broader autonomy. In an interview with ProTV Voronin said the bill would provide for a local parliament and administration, a regional budget, anthem, and coat of arms. But the region's banking and finance system, armed forces, and customs and foreign policy would be under Moldovan authority.

President Voronin also said Moldova's relations with Russia are largely positive: "We have no problems with Russia except the Transdniester dispute." Voronin also said he does not believe Russia will impose sanctions on Moldova, as Moscow has threatened to do. "This would be unreasonable as the Russian Federation is seeking to join the World Trade Organization, which disapproves of such restrictive measures," he said.

Voronin also denied claims that Moldova is considering withdrawing from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). "We are a small country" and will not "slam the door" on the CIS, Voronin said. But Voronin also said he would like to visit Brussels in the first official trip of his second term. Such a visit, Voronin said, would "reaffirm Moldova's strategic course for European integration."