Alegerile parlamentare din 2021 în Republica Moldova -


|print version||
December 16, 2002
ADEPT logo
Republic of Moldova President, Vladimir Voronin is due to make an official visit to US at the invitation of US President George W. Bush on December 16–20. There are very high expectations attached to this visit. Firstly, it follows the Prague and Copenhagen Summits, where historic decisions with regard to NATO and EU extension were taken. Those two events would have a crucial impact on the political developments in the region for quite a long time. President Voronin’s reaction to the events followed shortly afterwards. Namely, during the first session of the National Commission for European Integration of December 12, President Voronin stated that “European integration is an imminent process and Republic of Moldova could no longer avoid it”. One may interpret the statement as follows: Republic of Moldova has done everything possible to avoid European integration, but now the external environment makes it impossible to fight the process any longer. Indeed, the ruling party opposed all pro-European projects undertaken by the previous Governments.

Secondly, the official visit would follow another important event, OSCE Summit in Porto held on December 6–7, 2002. Republic of Moldova failed to convince European Forum to exercise some pressure on the Transdnistrian breakaway regime, in order to make it more flexible at the negotiation table. It was the first time Republic of Moldova openly asked for such tough measures. Moreover, on the eve of the OSCE Summit representatives of Russia, Ukraine and OSCE submitted a document for Chisinau and Tiraspol to sign stating that both countries undertake to establish a contractual federation. Tiraspol yielded to the mediators, whereas Chisinau refused to sign the document on the grounds that it is a trap. Clearly, contractual federation is just an intermediary, but very important stage for Transdnistria to gain its independence. Recent developments indicate that Chisinau can no longer count on Moscow’s support in a fair settlement of the Transdnistrian problem. Russia has entered electoral campaign for the Duma elections, accordingly Russian political elite is rather concerned with exploiting “patriotic feelings” of their fellow countrymen, especially as the country leadership is blamed for yielding too often lately (to cite only NATO troops in Central Asia as well as NATO extension). Presidential elections are due in Russia after the parliamentary ones, consequently in the next two years Republic Moldova could not count on any change in Russia’s attitude on the Transdnistrian conflict. It is obvious that even within OSCE, Russia’s opinion is the one which counts, and unfortunately it’s not in favor of Moldova. The fact that Russia got an extension for withdrawing its munitions from the East of the Republic of Moldova is viewed as a huge advantage for Transdnistrian administration, which in the last 12 years learned to exploit politically, economically and financially the fact that Russian army and munitions are stationed on its territory. There is no doubt that the same story would be perpetrated in the future. Only this time it would be amplified by elections in Russia and by the myth of Transdnistria being the last Russia’s redoubt at the border of Balkans. It is another story whether anybody needs this redoubt.

Given the above said, Republic of Moldova’s only hope left is US and EU, despite the fact that incumbent governing previously opposed internationalizing the Transdnistrian conflict. One of the merits of the President Voronin is that he managed to surmount his own stereotypes about “American imperialism” and those of his fellow party members and “accepted to talk” to US President as well as to address EU leaders asking for their assistance in settling Transdnistrian crisis. Given the fact that Transdnistrian conflict settlement is one of the major objectives of the ruling party, the results of the US official visit are of special importance. It is expected that Chisinau could count utmost on US support in establishing a federation in the Republic of Moldova as a result of the power decentralization. In this case, Transdnistria would become a subject of federation, without its sovereignty or right to secession being recognized.

The Federalization of the Republic of Moldova: Opportunities and Risks Referendum on joining EU