Transdnestria is once again accused of selling weapons to Iraq

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin accused the Transnistrian authorities on Saturday of having supplied Russian weapons to Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein, Russian news agencies have said.

Chisinau "holds official documents from the chancellery of Saddam Hussein, which show that Transnistria had supplied both arms, and entire weapon manufacturing lines to Iraq," Voronin told a group of Russian journalists, adding that an investigation on this case is under way. “Russia’s control over this territory is obvious and we must call to account those who do not desire to solve this conflict”, Voronin added.

“About two billion dollars are being laundered every year in Transnistria and no one wants to give up this source so easily,” Vladimir Voronin said. Being asked what Russia must do to help solve the conflict, the Moldovan President said that it must take the munitions from that territory. “We consider this depot a political shield that supports the Transnistrian regime,” the President emphasized.

Voronin added Moldova can prove Tiraspol sold weapons to Iraq. The document from Hussein’s archive that can confirm this is being studied by the Moldovan authorities now, he said.

Voronin accused Moscow to settle this regional conflict, noting that Russian weapons are "a political coverage to protect the Transnistrian regime." The Moldovan leader noted that he has sent a package of documents to Russia regarding the activity of 13 Transnistrian military companies.

On the other hand, Moldovan Premier Vasile Tarlev accused Thursday the Russian troops in Transnistria of supplying weapons to the Chechen region, In reply, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that he "pledges his head" for Russian bases in Moldova, and assured that "no weapons from Transnistria had been sent."

Transdestrian reply

Of the Transdniestrian foreign department Vitalie Ignatiev said rumors about the illegal sale of weapons from Transdniestrian exist for more than 15 years but nobody could prove it. He has also refuted Moldovan Prime Minister’s statements and sought evidence...

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