- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) - Moldova’s Foreign Ministry and its Defense Ministry have criticized recent Russian military exercises held in a separatist region, saying they undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova.

In a statement Friday, the ministry also called for fresh talks about transforming Russia’s peacekeeping operation into a civilian mission. Some 1,000 Russian peacekeepers are stationed in Trans-Dniester, a pro-Russian region surrounded by Moldova.

Trans-Dniester broke away in from Moldova in 1990 over fears it would reunite with neighboring Romania. A war between Moldova and the separatists in 1992 in Trans-Dniester left 1,500 people dead.

Russian army officers and members of the Trans-Dniester army took part in anti-terror training from July 27-Aug. 3. Separatist authorities said they wanted to learn from Russian troops.

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