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Moldova and Romania to build up integration

February 16, 2012, 17:32 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

Relations between Moldova and Romania have gone so active of late that some experts are already speculating about mutual integration. Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transnistria has formally distanced itself from that problem, saying the “political priorities” are personal business of Moldova’s citizens. However, the supporters of unification have been acting in Transnistria as well, and ever more so, the residents of the self-proclaimed republic have been getting Romanian citizenship, which is a member of the EU.

The governments of Moldova and Romania will meet for a joint session in the Romanian city of Jassy in March. The meeting was agreed on by Moldova’s Prime Minister Vlad Filat and the new head of the Romanian Cabinet, Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu. They are going to discuss new joint projects.

Earlier, during his visit to Moldova, Romania’s Foreign Minister Christian Diaconesu, said that this would be a preparatory meeting on the way towards a future agreement on political projects, and also on the unification of energy systems and gas pipelines, upgrading infrastructures, and building or repairing bridges between the two countries. Diaconescu also promised that this year he would facilitate visa rules for Moldova’s citizens.

In greeting message to the Romania’s new prime minister in connection with his inauguration Filat said that Moldovan-Romanian relations over the past two years “have been developing in a very positive way largely because the leaderships of both countries have exerted efforts to build very special relations.”

The issue of the day is not cooperation, but rather full-fledged mutual integration, says Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Romania’s Social-Democratic Party just recently opened its office in Chisinau. The Moldovan capital hosted the constituent conference of its local branch. Four deputy-chairpersons of the RSDP in Moldova were elected – one for each of the four regions of the republic. The intention was declared to include a Romanian citizen from Moldova in the list of the party’s candidates in the election of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian parliament.

As a Romanian parliament member from the RSDP, Christian Riza, is quoted by the news agency REGNUM as saying that at the inauguration ceremony “the office is open to our brothers on the other side of the Prut River.” The RSDP legislator added that the Social Democrats are determined to facilitate the process of granting Romanian citizenship to Moldova’s people still further.

According to Romania’s current official position, Moldova is “a second Romanian state” and Moldovans are Romanians and the Moldovan language is Romanian. According to the 2004 population census, published by Moldova’s national bureau of statistics, 2.2 percent identified themselves as Romanians, and 75.8 percent as Moldovans, 78.4 percent said their mother tongue was Moldovan, and 18.8 mentioned Romanian.

In the meantime, the campaign Romania Here! of the civil platform Actiunea-2012, uniting a number of unionist organizations in Romania and Moldova, according to REGNUM, has engulfed not only Moldova, but also Transnistria. About 300 volunteers from various regions of Moldova have put up posters reading Aici e Ronia! (Romania is Here) in all districts and municipalities of Moldova, and also in Transnistrian cities of Tiraspol, Bendery and Dubossary.

Actiunea-2012 promises to go ahead with activities in support for “advancing historical truth” for the purpose of joining Moldova to Romania in 2012. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Bessarabia’s liberation from the Turkish yoke, which the Romanian unionists invariably call the Russian Empire’s annexation of Bessarabia.

On the face of it Transnistrian authorities responded to this very calmly.

“The determination of the legal status of the Republic of Moldova is the business of that country’s people,” the head of the Transnistrian Republic, Yevgeny Shevchuk, said lately.

“The integration processes of these countries are going on, and ever more people of Moldova are getting Romanian citizenship. Once they have it, people can influence political processes in a legal way,” he added.

The point at issue is not just cooperation, but unification of the two countries, says the chairman of a commission of Transnistrian parliament, Dmitry Soin, who is quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Soin believes that “the current developments are a result of many years of efforts by Romania and Moldova along the road of integration, and Bucharest can be congratulated upon this.”

“For the past twenty years the Romanians have spent money on the education of children from Moldova, and today there is a new generation that will be voting for Romanian parties and for the unification of Moldova with Romania. In the 1990s elderly Moldovans, who remembered well the days of co-existence with the Romanians in one country did not want that to happen again. But today’s new generation has new ideas, and Romania is no longer the same – it is more attractive not only for the Moldovans on the right bank of the Dniester, but also for Russians on the left bank.

In Trans-Dniestria, he said, many young people eagerly acquire Romanian citizenship, because it opens up an opportunity to travel about Europe.

He regretted Moscow’s skeptical attitude to the idea of Moldova’s drift towards Romania.

MOSCOW, February 16