MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has urged Ukraine to reopen trade and transportation routes into Moldova's separatist province of Trans-Dniester.
Russia and the Trans-Dniester authorities say that the Ukrainians have blocked transport routes to the region. Moldova has frozen ties with Trans-Dniester since the 1992 war.
Ukraine has voiced fears that the Russian troops could use region as a bridgehead for invading its southern region.
Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since the 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.
Trans-Dniester has called on Russia to recognize its independence.
Putin, speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show, has dodged a question about whether Moscow could do so, but strongly called for ending a blockade of the region by Ukraine and Moldova.