Russian minister criticizes Moldova's call for troop pullout

Russia's foreign minister has criticized a move by Moldova to call for the removal of Russian troops from a pro-Russia separatist region at an upcoming U.N. meeting.

Moldova's Radio Chisinau on Saturday cited Sergey Lavrov as saying the move was "inspired from abroad," an apparent reference to the U.S. and the European Union. Lavrov said it could destabilize the region.

Russia has 1,000 troops and 500 peacekeepers stationed in Trans-Dniester, which broke away from Moldova in 1990, fearing reunification with neighboring Romania. About 1,500 people died in a 1992 civil war there.

Moldova's ambassador to the U.N., Victor Moraru, recently asked the U.N. to discuss Russian troop withdrawal from Trans-Dniester on the sidelines of the Sept. 12 General Assembly in New York, something Russia opposes.