Moldova, Dnestr separatists sign peace deal
May 8, 1997
Web posted at: 4:56 p.m. EDT (2056 GMT)
MOSCOW (CNN) -- The leaders of Moldova and its breakaway
Dnestr region signed a compromise peace document Thursday
aimed at keeping the former Soviet republic as an independent
Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi and Dnestr leader Igor
Smirnov met in Moscow to sign a memorandum formalizing their
landmark decision, reached at talks in April.
Russian-speakers in Moldova, who are a minority, feared that
the majority would seek union with Romania. Much of Moldova
was carved out of Romania by former Soviet dictator Josef
Stalin during World War II.
Hundreds of people were killed in 1992 when Moldovan forces
clashed with separatists demanding independence for Dnestr.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin said deal would allow the
Kremlin to withdraw its 6,000 peace-keepers from the Dnestr
Reuters contributed to this report.
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