World
Pyotr Iskenderov
May 1, 2014
© Photo: Public domain

The rapid unfreezing of old conflicts at the initiative of the West and the accelerated creation of new ones in the Balkan-Black Sea-Caucasus region require the closest of attention. Hopes that the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and other nations can rid themselves of the dangers that threaten them by making concessions to Washington and Brussels are becoming an illusion. The next signal of this type could come from Transnistria.

In recent days Bucharest has taken a course toward aggravating the situation in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. Romanian President Traian Basescu attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his words that Transnistrians «should be allowed to decide their own fate»… Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, for his part, has promised the Moldovan government all possible assistance in resolving the Transnistrian problem.

This harsher rhetoric from the Romanian leaders comes on the backdrop of internal political scandal. Prime Minister Ponta has stated that the telephones in his own office have been wiretapped, and he hinted transparently at the possible involvement of his main political opponent, President Basescu. The cause of the scandal was the appearance of the transcript of a telephone conversation on corrupt dealings on the Internet. The conversation allegedly took place in the Prime Minister's office. In response Ponta stated that he is moving his residence to the building of the Defense Ministry and expressed his confidence that such a step would foil any similar «attempts by Traian Basescu».

In November there are to be parliamentary elections in Romania, and the intensity of the confrontation is growing by the hour, especially on the backdrop of the economic crisis in the country. Therefore, a hard line on the problem of Transnistria could become the hobbyhorse on which each of the Romanian politicians will try to ride into parliament, and at the same time «wash away» the scandals in which they are involved.

Not satisfied with striking a public blow against Traian Basescu, the Romanian prime minister addressed the Moldovan government, essentially giving it carte blanche in its actions with regard to Tiraspol. «We unwaveringly support the legitimate government position of the Republic of Moldova,» he promised, once again emphasizing the firmness of Romania's «European path».

The Romanian prime minister made this statement having observed the large-scale military exercises in the central part of the country. Incidentally, his opponent Traian Basescu is no less active in «pouring oil on the fire» of the Transnistria conflict, preferring, however, to speak in terms of international law. In Basescu's opinion, the position of Russia and the Russian president in particular on the situation in Transnistria violate the «principles of international law and the fundamentals of the security system in Europe». He did not mention, however, that the modern Moldovan state itself arose as a result of the unilateral actions of Chisinau after the adoption of a declaration of sovereignty in June 1990 and a document on state independence in August 1991. 

A catalyst for the pumping up of nationalist hysteria in Romania is the precipitous collapse of statehood in neighboring Ukraine, which raises the question of the fate of the Romanians living on the territory of Ukrainian Bukovina… Meanwhile, sober analysis tells us that the problem of Transnistria must be resolved first of all based on respect for the will and desires of the residents of the region and in the interests of their safety. In the early 1990s, Transnistrians experienced firsthand the «European values» which the Greater Romanian nationalists are forcing on them. Hope in «united Europe» is even more naive today, when Brussels is patronizing the very same nationalists who have seized power in Kiev and who have become the main threat to the Ruthenians, Hungarians, Romanians and other peoples living in Ukraine.

The following was written in the newspaper Panorama, which comes out in Moldova: «So-called Eurointegration is a myth, as no one is going to accept either Ukraine or Moldova into the European Union. Brainwashed politicians from the ruling coalitions in Kiev and Chisinau can stand in front of the mirror and practice autosuggestion all they want: 'We are Europeans… We are Europeans… We will be offered the prospect of membership… We will be offered the prospect of membership… We will be accepted into the EU… We will be accepted into the EU…'; however, no one plans to accept these countries into the European Union. But Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Europe will all have to pay a real price for this myth. Everyone can blame one another for what is happening and look for scapegoats, but for some reason Eurointegration, which people said would bring with it only the best and make the Ukrainians and Moldovans happy, is accompanied by great misfortunes for enormous territories and for the tens of millions of people living there»… 

There is a date in the Moldovan political calendar, as in the Romanian calendar, which could become a catalyst for the «unfreezing» of the Transnistrian conflict: November 30, 2014. This is the day when parliamentary elections are to be held in Moldova. The ruling pro-Western coalition needs to show voters something which can distract them from the raging socioeconomic crisis, the thievery of politicians and the absence of any prospects of Moldova being accepted into the EU.

In the mid-2000s the World Bank officially declared Moldova the poorest country in Europe according to gross domestic product per capita. The current government is in no condition to change this. In such a situation, a «small, victorious war» with the support of NATO member Romania could very well capture the imagination of Moldovan radical nationalists. However, aggression against Transnistria will be a fatal move for Moldova: in this case it will turn into the same kind of failed state as Ukraine looks like today in the eyes of the entire world.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
«Eurointegration Is a Myth»…

The rapid unfreezing of old conflicts at the initiative of the West and the accelerated creation of new ones in the Balkan-Black Sea-Caucasus region require the closest of attention. Hopes that the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and other nations can rid themselves of the dangers that threaten them by making concessions to Washington and Brussels are becoming an illusion. The next signal of this type could come from Transnistria.

In recent days Bucharest has taken a course toward aggravating the situation in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. Romanian President Traian Basescu attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his words that Transnistrians «should be allowed to decide their own fate»… Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, for his part, has promised the Moldovan government all possible assistance in resolving the Transnistrian problem.

This harsher rhetoric from the Romanian leaders comes on the backdrop of internal political scandal. Prime Minister Ponta has stated that the telephones in his own office have been wiretapped, and he hinted transparently at the possible involvement of his main political opponent, President Basescu. The cause of the scandal was the appearance of the transcript of a telephone conversation on corrupt dealings on the Internet. The conversation allegedly took place in the Prime Minister's office. In response Ponta stated that he is moving his residence to the building of the Defense Ministry and expressed his confidence that such a step would foil any similar «attempts by Traian Basescu».

In November there are to be parliamentary elections in Romania, and the intensity of the confrontation is growing by the hour, especially on the backdrop of the economic crisis in the country. Therefore, a hard line on the problem of Transnistria could become the hobbyhorse on which each of the Romanian politicians will try to ride into parliament, and at the same time «wash away» the scandals in which they are involved.

Not satisfied with striking a public blow against Traian Basescu, the Romanian prime minister addressed the Moldovan government, essentially giving it carte blanche in its actions with regard to Tiraspol. «We unwaveringly support the legitimate government position of the Republic of Moldova,» he promised, once again emphasizing the firmness of Romania's «European path».

The Romanian prime minister made this statement having observed the large-scale military exercises in the central part of the country. Incidentally, his opponent Traian Basescu is no less active in «pouring oil on the fire» of the Transnistria conflict, preferring, however, to speak in terms of international law. In Basescu's opinion, the position of Russia and the Russian president in particular on the situation in Transnistria violate the «principles of international law and the fundamentals of the security system in Europe». He did not mention, however, that the modern Moldovan state itself arose as a result of the unilateral actions of Chisinau after the adoption of a declaration of sovereignty in June 1990 and a document on state independence in August 1991. 

A catalyst for the pumping up of nationalist hysteria in Romania is the precipitous collapse of statehood in neighboring Ukraine, which raises the question of the fate of the Romanians living on the territory of Ukrainian Bukovina… Meanwhile, sober analysis tells us that the problem of Transnistria must be resolved first of all based on respect for the will and desires of the residents of the region and in the interests of their safety. In the early 1990s, Transnistrians experienced firsthand the «European values» which the Greater Romanian nationalists are forcing on them. Hope in «united Europe» is even more naive today, when Brussels is patronizing the very same nationalists who have seized power in Kiev and who have become the main threat to the Ruthenians, Hungarians, Romanians and other peoples living in Ukraine.

The following was written in the newspaper Panorama, which comes out in Moldova: «So-called Eurointegration is a myth, as no one is going to accept either Ukraine or Moldova into the European Union. Brainwashed politicians from the ruling coalitions in Kiev and Chisinau can stand in front of the mirror and practice autosuggestion all they want: 'We are Europeans… We are Europeans… We will be offered the prospect of membership… We will be offered the prospect of membership… We will be accepted into the EU… We will be accepted into the EU…'; however, no one plans to accept these countries into the European Union. But Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Europe will all have to pay a real price for this myth. Everyone can blame one another for what is happening and look for scapegoats, but for some reason Eurointegration, which people said would bring with it only the best and make the Ukrainians and Moldovans happy, is accompanied by great misfortunes for enormous territories and for the tens of millions of people living there»… 

There is a date in the Moldovan political calendar, as in the Romanian calendar, which could become a catalyst for the «unfreezing» of the Transnistrian conflict: November 30, 2014. This is the day when parliamentary elections are to be held in Moldova. The ruling pro-Western coalition needs to show voters something which can distract them from the raging socioeconomic crisis, the thievery of politicians and the absence of any prospects of Moldova being accepted into the EU.

In the mid-2000s the World Bank officially declared Moldova the poorest country in Europe according to gross domestic product per capita. The current government is in no condition to change this. In such a situation, a «small, victorious war» with the support of NATO member Romania could very well capture the imagination of Moldovan radical nationalists. However, aggression against Transnistria will be a fatal move for Moldova: in this case it will turn into the same kind of failed state as Ukraine looks like today in the eyes of the entire world.