Moldova: separatist leader says region should join Russia

The television channel of the Trans-Dniester separatist region of Moldova says the region's leader has signed a decree saying it should join Russia, in line with the results of a referendum a decade ago.

In 2006, some 97 percent of residents of Trans-Dniester, which split from Moldova in 1990, voted to join Russia. Trans-Dniester, which is not internationally recognized, shares a border with Ukraine but not Russia.

The official Trans-Dniester station reported Thursday that separatist leader Yevgeny Shevchuk had ruled it was time to enact the results of the referendum.

Trans-Dniester holds elections in December and Shevchuk is expected to run. The region is currently in an economic downturn and the separatist government is unpopular.

There was no immediate reaction from Moldova's government.