Organized crime and corruption are major reasons for continued Balkan political instability. The Balkan Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe group has decided to set up a regional anti-organized crime center in Bucharest, Romania. The center will coordinate crime efforts among the Balkan nations.
Several sources report another major withdrawal of Russian weapons from Moldova. A train carrying the weapons reportedly left the Transdniester Republic July 14. An RFE report said Russia had pulled out 42,000 tons of ammunition from Moldova between March and June. Moves like this indicate the drawn-out Moldovan civil war is fading away.
The European Union agreed to continue its military peacekeeping and monitoring mission in Macedonia. The forces mandate is extended through December 15. France, however, said it wants some other nation to assume lead nation responsibilities for the Concordia group (name of the peacekeeping mission).