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CIS set to send troops to Moldova and Tajikistan

MOSCOW - The commander of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Marshal Yvegeny Shaposhnikov, yesterday identified Moldova and Tajikistan as the two former Soviet republics that should have Commonwealth peace-keeping forces, writes Peter Pringle. In the Azeri enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, there were too many problems to be clear about how the CIS 'disengagement forces' would operate, said Marshal Shaposhnikov.

It is still not yet clear who would form the commonwealth peace-keeping forces, known here as the 'blue helmets', after the United Nations troops. The CIS defence and foreign ministers will meet in Tashkent on 16 July to discuss the formation of the force.

Yesterday, the warring sides in Moldova began pulling back their artillery and tanks after a new ceasefire accord, signed on Tuesday, aimed at stopping the fighting in the separatist Dnestr region. Spokesmen for both sides accused the other of shelling attacks near Dubossary, but elsewhere the accord seemed to be holding.