Leader: Moldova's Breakaway Region 'Dreams of Being with Russia'

The leader of Moldova's pro-Moscow breakaway region on Monday urged the country's politicians to start discussions that would allow Transdniestr to formally join Russia.

"Our dream is a prosperous independent Trasndniestr together with Russia," Yevgeny Shevchuk said in a state of the nation address.

"The time for solutions over Trasndniestr has come," he added in the hour-long speech.

Pro-Western Moldova warned Moscow last month against trying to annex its Russian-speaking region after Trasndniestr officials appealed to be brought under the Kremlin's control.

Chisinau's warning came in the wake of Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea after locals voted to split from Kiev last month.

"I propose that Moldova's politicians make a wise, bold and responsible move and start discussing how to legally formalise the real state of affairs," Shevchuk said.

The move, he said, would strengthen stability in the region.

Relations between Russia and the West have hit their lowest point since the Cold War over Crimea, and Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops along its border with Ukraine.

Trasndniestr, a strip of land on Moldova's eastern border, broke away from the rest of the country in the wake of the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union but is not recognised by any other state.

Residents in the region voted overwhelmingly to join Russia in a 2006 referendum and Moscow still maintains thousands of troops there.

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