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NEWS 01 Feb 18

Calls for Reunion With Romania Anger Moldova President

Igor Dodon has summoned the country's Security Council to take action after some municipal councils passed satatement supporting reunion with neighbouring Romania.

 

Madalin Necsutu
BIRN
Chisinau
The president of Moldova, Igor Dodon. Photo: Igor Dodon`s Facebook page

Moldova's Pro-Russian President Igor Dodon on Wednesday said that he will convene the country's Security Council after several localities passed statements backing Moldova's reunion with Romania.

These actions take place on the backdrop of unprecedented campaigns carried out on Moldova's territory, denigrating the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Moldova, rejecting the concept of its statehood, Dodon wrote on his Facebook page.

The row began last week as neighbouring Romania marked the 159th anniversary of the Union of Romanian Principalities – the birthday of the modern Romanian state.

Seven local councils in Moldova – which was part of Romania between the two world wars – also passed votes backing reunion with Romania.

The gesture is considered symbolic and has no legal significance, but has aroused fears in some that it could become a trend in some areas of the country.

It comes as Romania also in 2018 marks the centenary of the "Great Unification" in 1918 of the Romanian kingdom with both Moldova - until then part of the Russian Empire – and the province of Transylvania, which had been part of Austria-Hungary until the Habsurg Empire fell apart.

Dodon's concern is that this symbolic gestures will be a trendsetter for the future in Moldova.

However, due to the increased poverty in Moldova, the number of citizens who want reunification with Romania is increasing year by year.

Surveys carried out in December 2017, released by IMAS and the Public Opinion Barometer, showed that about 23 per cent of Moldovans want reunification with Romania. 

Dodon said the Security Council should take a stance towards any actions undermining the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Moldova.

He also blamed pro-Romanian “unionists for setting fire to a Moldovan flag in the centre of Chisinau, although police reported that it was only an act of vandalism without political meaning.

Analysts, and also the mayors who signed the unionist statements, accuse Dodon of hypocrisy, noting that last year he laid flowers at the grave of Russian Cossacks soldiers who fought against Moldovan soldiers in 1992 in the war in breakaway Transnistria.

In early 2017, Dodon also called the separatist leader in Transnistria "a president", which drew strong criticism in Chisinau, which does not recognise the Russian-backed region as a state.

Dodon is a supporter of the reintegration of Transnistria into Moldova, but champions giving it almost independent powers.

Some political analysts say Dodon is re-starting the so-called Kozak memorandum”, which refers to a plan backed in Moscow in 2003.

This aimed at a final settlement of relations between Moldova and Transnistria by giving substantial autonomy to Tiraspol, very close to de facto independence, and by establishing Russian as an official language in Moldova.

The main concern then of the Chisinau authorities and of West then was that with two pro-Russian autonomous regions - Gagauzia and Transnistria - they could easily block any laws in the joint parliament bringing Moldova closer to the West.

The pro-Russian Presidentoften accuses Romania of interfering in the internal affairs of Moldova, and the topic has become his main political platform.

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