Moldova fears separatists want to join Russia

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova's president says he fears that separatists in eastern Moldova may ask Russia to recognize their breakaway region after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty annexing Crimea.

President Nicolae Timofti said Tuesday that Trans-Dniester, a thin strip of land between Moldova and western Ukraine, may ask to become part of Russia but denied reports it had already done so. Russia has said it respects Moldova's territorial integrity in the past.

"There are risks of provocations from Trans-Dniester," Timofti said.

Trans-Dniester broke away from Moldova in 1990 and Russia has 1,500 troops stationed there but does not recognize the region.

Timofti will meet Romanian President Traian Basescu on Wednesday. Basescu said Monday that he believes Russia wants to recreate the Soviet Union and that Moldova was a priority for him.

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