( RIA Novosti ) - Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said on Thursday that an armed solution to the long-running dispute over the breakaway Transdnestr republic is no longer an option.
"We say that the military have accomplished their duties, and that this stage of the dispute requires only civilian observers - it's time to stop rattling sabers," Voronin said in an interview with the newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda in Moldova."
Voronin said that the situation in the breakaway republic has stabilized in the last year, mainly due to an active Russian-Moldovan dialogue.
However, he pointed out that while the main issue of Transdnestr's status has not been settled, the atmosphere has fundamentally altered.
The president of Moldova said that he was satisfied with deals on Russian gas supplies, a sensitive issue in relations between the former Soviet republics. Under a deal signed towards the end of 2006, Moldova currently pays $170 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas, or 75% of the average price Gazprom charges consumers in Europe.
On the issue of Moldovan wine, Voronin said the problem has not been resolved, but that the points of contention are mostly technical, not political. He added that Moldova was interested in bringing the country's famous wine onto the Russian market.
Moscow's embargo on Moldovan wine in March 2006, which Russia said was due to consumer safety concerns, but which Moldova called political, has been another irritant in relations between the two countries.
The unrecognized, but de facto independent state of the Transdnestr Moldavian Republic was established in the early 1990s on a narrow valley stretching along the eastern bank of the Dniester River. Armed conflict began in 1992, following the oppression of non-Moldovan, and mainly ethnic Russian, minorities.
According to the 1992 agreement on the principles of peace settlement, the security zone is patrolled by peacekeeping contingents from Russia, Moldavia and Transdnestr, as well as by a group of Ukrainian military observers.