Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Testimony :: The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts
Commissioner - The Helsinki Commission

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Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing about Moldova and the current situation in the Tansdniestria region. I traveled to Moldova in January 1988 to visit Tiraspol and since that time have worked with various NGOs to send medical and other humanitarian aid to the Moldovan people. My constituents in Pennsylvania’s 16th District travel to Moldova every year and host Moldovan delegations several times a year here in the United States.

The people of the former Soviet Union suffered tremendously at the hands of hostile officials, including security officials. The presence of the troops in this region is a constant reminder of that suffering and the possibility of more bloodshed.

I urge the Russian government to uphold the October 21, 1994 “Agreement on the status, modalities and the terms of the withdrawal of the military formations of the Russian Federation temporarily located on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.” The people of Moldova deserve to be part of the international community. For the sake of the Moldovan people, I urge the Moldovan government and the Russian officials in command, to ensure that the situation is resolved peacefully so that the people can live without fear of further bloodshed and violence.

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I look forward to hearing from our distinguished witnesses.