Thursday, March 1, 2018

Moldova on Brink of Civil War as a Result of Romanian and American Actions, Malyshev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 1 – A Russian nationalist commentator says that Moldova is on the brink of a civil war between those who want to keep the country independent and those who want to unite with Romania, that such a war would lead to the disintegration of Moldova, and that this danger is being increased by the actions of the United Statess.

            In an essay for the Stoletiye portal, Vladimir Malyshev argues that Bucharest is colluding with activists in the regions and politicians in Chisinau to promote the unification of the two states, something that could happen this summer when the Romanian and Moldovan parliaments hold a joint session (

            The prime ministers of the two countries agreed on this joint meeting when they met in Chisinau last week, despite the opposition of the Moldovan president; and to date, more than 50 villages and towns have declared that they would like to see Moldova and Romania united in one country, something that Malyshev says would result in the disappearance of Moldova.

            If some in Moldova continue to seek unity with Romania, the Russian commentator says, both non-Moldovan areas in Moldova and many Moldovans will oppose them, possibly to the point of armed conflict. Transdniestria would never agree to be part of a Romanian state, and the Gagauz autonomy has already asked Turkey to defend it against such a prospect.

            In addition, the Bulgarian-majority regions would probably follow Gagauzia in seeking independent statehood if Moldova and Romania were to come together; and many ordinary Moldovans, including those who voted for the current president Igor Dodon would oppose such a step as well.

            “Therefore,” Malyshev says, “uniting with Romania threatens to result not only in the death of Moldovan statehood but the loss of a significant part of its territory.”  Dodon has been warning against this and demanding that Moldova maintain its neutral position in the world by standing apart from the alliances and organizations of both the West and Russia.

                Exacerbating this situation, he continues, is Washington which was recently visited by the pro-Romanian Moldovan politician who lost the presidency to Dodon and where the House of Representatives has issued a report calling for expanded American involvement in Moldova to counter Russian propaganda, code he suggests, for the US to act as he says it did in Ukraine. 

                Malyshev’s predictions may be overly alarmist, but they are important for two reasons. On the one hand, they suggest how many in Moscow view the situation in Moldova and how the Russian side hopes to use the ethnic minorities in Transdniestria, Gagauzia and elsewhere to oppose even a rapprochement between Moldova and Romania, let alone unification.

            And on the other, his argument highlights the ways in which Moscow now acts on the assumption that behind any move that Moscow doesn’t like stand the Americans, a form of political paranoia that raises the stakes in each conflict and makes their resolution more rather than less difficult.

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