Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Vote of Six Moldovan Villages to Join Romania Worries Moscow

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 30 – In the last two weeks, six villages in Moldova have voted to join Romania and a Romanian deputy has called for creating in Bucharest a ministry for uniting the two countries, actions that some in Chisinau and Moscow view as part of “the creeping absorption” of Moldova by Romania and by NATO

            The votes of the villagers have no legal standing, and the Romanian government has not shown any signs that it will create such a provocative ministry; but reports about both have been enough to rile some in Chisinau and others in Moscow who see all this as an anti-Russian move by the West.

            In Nezavisimaya gazeta, Svetlana Gamova, head of that newspaper’s department for “the near abroad,” provocatively entitles her reportage on this “Moldovan Villages are Leaving for Romania” and gives as its subtitle “In Bucharest they want to create a ministry for the unification of the two states” (

                Pro-Moscow socialists in the Moldovan parliament, Gamova reports, are demanding that the villagers who voted to join Romania be punished in order to stop what one of their number called “the creeping occupation of Moldova by Romania which in turn is supported by the United States.”

            Those in Chisinau and Moscow who oppose the villagers also note that Romania has taken over the electric system of Moldova, owns some of its biggest banks, and includes politicians like former president Traian Basecu, who are promoting unity of the two countries and want it to happen this year, the centennial of an earlier union.

            By their voting, Gamova says, the villagers who want to join Romania have created “yet another separatist region” in addition to Transdnestria; but unlike that one which Moldova has fought against, Chisinau has taken no official notice of what the villages are doing, suggesting, the Moscow journalist implies, that they support it.

            Nonetheless, she says, “a scandal around the parade of unifications has broken out,” and other villages may soon join the six. Polls suggest that most Moldovans want to remain an independent state, but those who favor unity with Romania are gaining ground by suggesting that life is better in Romania.

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