Russia has not made any decision to withdraw ammunition stockpiles from Moldova's breakaway region of Transdnestr, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.
“This issue is being analyzed by the Defense Ministry now. The decision will be made after the analysis is completed,” Rogozin, the presidential point man for the region, said in comments on a report by Russian business daily Kommersant.
Last week Kommersant said that Moscow would start withdrawing the ammunition from Transdnestr by the end of 2012 in order to set the stage for a settlement of the Transdnestr conflict.
Rogozin, who is the presidential envoy to Transdnestr, said Tiraspol trusts Russia’s judgment on the matter.
A Russian motorized infantry battalion is stationed in Transdnestr as part of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces (CPF). In addition, Russia has troops guarding several Soviet-era ammunition depots.
The Russian-speaking province of Transdnestr has maintained de facto independence from Moldova since a brief war in 1992 following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
A joint peacekeeping force of Russian, Moldovan and Transdnestr contingents has been deployed in the area. Transdnestr seeks full independence, while Moldova says it is only prepared to allow autonomy.