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Moldovan President Blasts Romanian Unification Talk

As Dodon warns of impending ‘civil war,’ his government inks military pact with Romania.

8 February 2018

Moldova and Romania are to form a joint military unit for emergency situations.

 

Speaking at a news conference in Chisinau with his Romanian counterpart Mihai Fifor, Moldovan Defense Minister Eugen Sturza on Monday also said Moldovan troops would resume training with Romanian forces, Balkan Insight writes.

 

 

Moldovan service members conduct a drill on 7 February. Photo: Ministry of Defense of Republic of Moldova

 

Some in the Romanian-speaking country favor much closer cooperation with their larger, EU-member neighbor. This year, they are marking the centenary of the “Great Unification” with Romania in 1918 at the end of World War I, Balkan Insight reported last week.

 

Recently the mayors of 10 Moldovan villages signed a symbolic declaration of unification with Romania, Ukrainian news site Hronika.info reports. Moldova remained part of Romania until the Soviet Union annexed it after World War II.

 

Moldovan President Igor Dodon condemned the declaration and warned the mayors they could be violating Moldovan law. Dodon, whose friendly relations with Russia put him at odds with the EU-friendly government, wrote on Facebook yesterday that 53 other mayors had signed a statement against unification, according to RFE/RL.

 

Dodon said he is “not against any state, be it Russia or Romania, but I am against those who want to get rid of the Moldovan state.”

 

Last week Dodon said Moldovan lawmakers “were forced into voting for unification by Romania’s soldiers” in 1918.

 

“I want this to be clear: unification [with Romania] amounts to civil war,” he told Moldova’s NTV channel, TASS reported.

 

  • As president, Dodon has made overtures to the Moscow-backed authorities in the separatist Transdniester territory. As the West-leaning government intensifies military cooperation with Romania, Russia has scaled up its military exercises in Transdniester, Balkan Insight says.

 

  • Russia has maintained a peacekeeping force in Transdniester since the armed conflict there ended in a truce in 1992.

 

  • The Moldovan and Romanian foreign ministers held a joint press conference on Tuesday, a day after the defense ministers met, ACT Media reports.

     

  • Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu told journalists, “the relationship with the Republic of Moldova remains a priority relationship for Romania, for the entire political class and our society, all the more as this year we are marking the Centenary.” He called European integration “the only option” for Moldova to achieve stability and prosperity.

Compiled by Wasse Jonkhans

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