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Moldova asks Russia to withdraw troops from separatist region after Russia criticizes Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova - Moldova's foreign ministry has called on Russia to withdraw troops and weapons from a separatist pro-Russian enclave in the east of the former Soviet republic.

The ministry appealed to Russia on Tuesday to pull out some 1,500 troops and thousands of tons of weapons from Trans-Dniester in accordance with commitments made at a 1999 summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russia on Monday accused Moldova of trying to destabilize the region and force out Russian troops.

Trans-Dniester broke away from Moldova in 1990 over fears it planned to reunite with Romania. Some 1,500 people died in a 1992 war.

Russia is angry that Moldova signed an association agreement in June with the European Union; in August Moscow placed an embargo on Moldovan fruit.

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