Voters in Moldova's breakaway Trans-Dniestetr region have overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence and joining the Russian Federation.
Election officials said Monday 97 percent of voters approved the measure.
The Moldovan government has refused to recognize the referendum as legitimate. A U.S. State Department spokesman says the United States also refuses to recognize the referendum, calling it nothing but an attempt to destabilize Moldova. The European Union has also rejected it.
Some Russian lawmakers voiced support for Trans-Dniester's independence, but stopped short of saying the impoverished region should join the Russian Federation.
Most of the residents of Trans-Dniester speak Russian, and identify with Russia. Russian peacekeepers have maintained an uneasy truce in Trans-Dniester since the region fought a brief separatist war with Moldova in 1992.