Minority Gagauz militants in the Moldavian republic have set up cordons to prevent Soviet troops from entering their region and enforcing state-of-emergency measures, Tass reported Monday.

The Moldavian parliament imposed the state of emergency and Soviet troops were standing by, ready to move in under the command of Gen. Yuri Shatalin if lawmakers issue the order, the official news agency said.A provisional parliamentary committee was monitoring the standoff from Chimishlia, a small town in southern Moldavia bordering on the Gagauz territory, which was declared a state-of-emergency zone on Friday.

"Although there were no clashes between Moldavian and Gagauz volunteers, representatives of Gagauzes set up cordons to prevent the (Soviet troops and republic militiamen) from entering," Tass said.

The Gagauz are a close-knit group of about 150,000 people, all descendants of Christians who fled to Moldavia from Turkey because of religious persecution about 160 years ago.