The Transnistrian settlement is like a hobby. Some people collect stamps, others build model airplanes, still others cross-stitch or bred cats, or go fishing...
There are hundreds of different kinds of hobbies people do at leisure. But no one has the hobby the Moldovan politicians have invented. It is called the ‘Transnistrian settlement’ and all our politicians have been engaged in it over the past quarter century. There would seem to be a problem, a Transnistrian one, which means, it seems to be necessary to be solved somehow. It so happens that this topic is not remembered for years. For no reason, to sit in the stadium, go to a concert, to go on a tour at government expense in the Alpine resort, to drink Bavarian beer there with the same people, great talkers of Transnistria. Those who are engaged in this hobby, have even created a special club called ‘5 + 2’.
But from time to time, the ballyhoo around Transnistria is growing. As in the last weeks. The politicians become more active, accordingly. Making various statements, accusing each other and even holding secret meetings of the parliament and adopting declarations there.
But what is the use of nominally calling a problem if the Moldovan political class does not realize that it is the main political issue of the state? Why to clumsily try to pass a hobby for its core activities?
Marauders from the European train
Those who wanted Transnistria to move as far as possible away from the right bank, eventually succeeded. It is not just about those who wanted such a result in Tiraspol. Too many in Chisinau initially wanted the same.
The talks about that the Left Bank area may be given to Ukraine in return of South Bessarabia and Bukovina, began in the late 80s of the last century. Among part of the Bessarabian elite this point of view existed initially, up before the revolution in Bucharest, before the post-Ceausescu Romanian state began to interfere in the affairs of the newly independent state of Moldova.
The very independence of Moldova was regarded by the then Popular Front, and later by its numerous branches like Mihai Ghimpu’s Liberal Party, as independence from the USSR, from Russia, but not from Romania. The fact that the Moldovan train got stuck at an intermediate station ‘Independence’ on the way to the final stop ‘Greater Romania’ is a mistake, the frontisti are convinced. For them, a union with Transnistria is not only unnecessary, but also harmful because it slows the movement toward unification with Romania. A similar view is held by a small portion of the Moldovan society, but this part has gained a disproportionate impact on the power. And after 2009, it is this ideology that became dominant in the parliament, government, presidential administration, and the Constitutional Court.
Today the course for giving up Transnistria and uniting with Romania is held under the mask of ‘European integration’. The Brussels bureaucracy acts as an advance guard, which also controls the colonial administration in Chisinau. It has its own reason to behave like this - to prevent Moldova from making a normal state project together with Transnistria and in alliance with Russia. The stress is laid just on Russophobia. As one Polish president said, “for us Russia without Ukraine is better than Russia with Ukraine”. The same thing, although not on such scale is true for the Republic of Moldova. For Europe, the weaker Russia, the better.
Whereas Romanian politicians lay stress on their nationalist interests, try to satisfy their ambitions and complexes, to prevent the establishment of a viable Moldovan state and eventually expand their territory at the expense of Bessarabia and improve their poor demographic situation at cost of three million Bessarabian Romanians. These politicians act as marauders who are moving in the train of European advance guard, but at the same time trying to become the main beneficiaries of the course for Moldova’s ‘European integration’. With this approach, it is clear that Bucharest and its appointees in Chisinau vehemently oppose the ‘Transnistrization’ of Moldova, because it puts an end to the Romanization of Bessarabia.
But the main problem is not in the open unionists. The problem is that those who called and continue to call themselves supporters of the Moldovan statehood do not realize that it is really necessary to make some concrete steps to solve the Transnistrian conflict. One of these steps must be rejection of stereotypes; particularly that Moldova can only be a unitary state.
Chisinau politicians continue to demonstrate infantilism, which is reflected in the fact that “we are recognized - and they are not.” They say, in any case a subject of international law is the Republic of Moldova only, in any case the independence of Transnistria is not recognized, so in any case they will be there any time. All Chisinau blah-blah around Transnistria was and is still made around it.
Against the background of phrase-mongering on Transnistria during a quarter of a century there were also moments of enlightenment. This occurred when the Moldovan politicians recognized that they themselves could not solve anything, and had recourse to outsiders.
One of such steps was a ‘Primakov Memorandum’, which began to be developed under President Mircea Snegur, and signed by President Petru Lucinschi. But even this very small step towards a ‘common state’ caused a storm of protest of constitutional law and federalism ‘experts’, for whom Durleshti is the South Pole, and Colonita is the North.
The next chance, a “Kozak Memorandum’ appeared only because the President Vladimir Voronin too preferred to keep away from settlement of the Transnistrian problem and asked for help from Russia. Moscow helped develop a relevant draft agreement but Voronin was afraid of what he had started himself and refused to sign the document.
It’s not that Snegur and Lucinschi had the same geopolitical orientation, whereas Voronin had the other, but the fact is that this infantilism (let anyone, Yeltsin and Kuchma, Kozak and Solana, Medvedev and Merkel, Putin and Obama, but we, solve our problems) is inherent in the left and right-wing politicians in Chisinau. This baby talk also sounds again in the adopted last week’s declaration of the Parliament of Moldova on the situation around Transnistria. This completely empty in content paper was voted both by the CPP and CPRM deputies. For their vote the communists were awarded laudatory backslapping by the EU ambassador in Chisinau Dirk Schuebel - this is an important thing that stuck in memory after the secret meeting of Parliament. The very declaration once again confirmed that the Chisinau politicians, on the assumption of deep-rooted stereotypes are not able to solve the Transnistrian conflict.
The Moldovan political class, when it comes to the problem of Transnistria, continues to collectively play the fool. Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca acted the most decently: He frankly admitted that he did not know how to solve this question, so the one who does this will have to be presented with Nobel Peace Prize. For the head of the colonial administration it is a quite consistent position.
The Transnistrian problem is really needed to be solved either by Moldovans, or by anyone else. The third option, which occurs in life – continue not to solve the problem, ad infinitum.
Someone else - Russia, Ukraine, OSCE - tried to offer their solutions, but Chisinau politicians did not like them. They all together, both the rights and the lefts preferred, to adopt in 2005 a law that provides for a pre-determined status knowingly unacceptable for Tiraspol. In response, in Transnistria a referendum was held on independence and entry into Russia. With such irreconcilable positions no one will agree of anything.
They are dead
To solve the problem independently, it is necessary to begin to think differently. The Chisinau politicians constantly accuse the population, both on the right and on the left bank, that it does not want to change their mentality, but these politicians themselves remain addle-brained as they were as far back as 25 years ago. So much has changed in the world over this quarter of a century but these politicians became numb, turned into icy idols. They just died. Their mind is extinguished but misunderstanding-related people forgot to certify death of their brain. They behave like a zombie. What do they being themselves dead want from others? For a start, try to rise again, at least intellectually, mentally, because spiritually those who surrender the Orthodox country to the international gay lobby and offer to impose taxes on the Church’s ‘income’, are dead once and for all. If you are not able, then continue to rot and decompose, but do not teach others how to live.
With today’s geopolitical state of affairs it is quite obvious that these two things - the European integration and reintegration – are incompatible. It is understood both on the right and on the left bank. Bucharest very clearly understands this speaking plainly: give up Transnistria for Europe.
In 1992, Moldova lost the war in Transnistria, with Transdniestria, with Russia - it can be called howsoever, but the fact remains. The result of that war was legalized when President Snegur arrived to the Kremlin and signed with President Boris Yeltsin in the presence of Igor Smirnov, a ceasefire agreement, in fact the act of capitulation. Any loser in the war has to pay indemnities and reparations. Whereas Moldovan politicians, with the assumption that even Gimpu when he was an acting president, did not denounce the agreement signed by Snegur, continue to try to recover what was lost in the war, as if nothing had happened.
Once there was a Moldavian SSR as part of the USSR. Ideologues of the current anti-Soviet authorities call Molotov and Ribbentrop the founding fathers of the MSSR. The MSSR borders, these ideologues say, were voluntaristically drawn by Stalin, who specially incorporated into these republic both a part of Bessarabia and that of the Moldavian autonomy from Ukraine. The frontisti do not recognize the USSR and the MSSR, but for some reason they do not abandon their heritage represented by Transnistria.
References to international law and the ‘inviolability of borders’ also belong to a set of tricks of those who prefer to twiddle their thumbs and not to solve anything. For these 25 years, the USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia fell apart, the independence of Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia was recognized. None of the states that have broken up during these years has glued back together. It is not clear how Moldova can be an exception.
Unlike Romania, Russia recognizes the Moldovan state, the Moldovan people, the Moldovan language. Bucharest politicians consider the Moldovenism itself a threat to the national security of Romania. Given how weak the Romanian state is, these are well-founded concerns. If a functioning, prosperous, democratic, reintegrated Moldovan state is created, it will be for Romania a burr in the saddle. So one tries, to be just, very successfully, to prevent the establishment of a normal Moldovan state. As a result, the Moldovan people may simply disappear. Bucharest will not regret this really.
A new state
The plan of action of the current Chisinau authorities in relation to Transdniestria is from the category of hobby too: to try together with Ukraine to integrate into Europe (as they put it – to ‘anchor’ on the EU berth), to grip Transnistria in a vice, make the latter reintegrate into Moldova and play by the European rules. Besides its impracticability it is also a surprisingly impudent approach: after losing the war to try nevertheless to solve all for all – both for Transnistria, and for Ukraine, and for Europe. Romanians did the same in relation to Germans – they entered in the war on their side two times, and finally turned out to be among the winners on the same Germans. But with Russians that won’t work.
The Chisinau politicians, being very weak, dream nevertheless of the military option, in which case the ‘clean-up’ of Transnistria would be made by some more powerful western uncle, for example, by the EU or a NATO military bloc. Saakashvili’ laurels do not give a moment’s peace to these politicians. They are probably out of touch on how bad Georgian President ended his career, under which the country has finally lost some territories.
The expectation that on the other part, from the East, Transnistria will be ‘cleaned up’ by Ukraine is even more absurd. Ukraine to an even greater degree than Moldova can not definitely select the European vector. Kiev will balance to the last between Moscow and Brussels. Ukraine is essentially a Eurasian state. It is even less able to join the EU than Turkey. And a man in his right mind can not understand why Ukraine should agree that Transnistria, where tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens live, is transferred to Moldova, in fact, Romania, with which Ukraine has very difficult relationship.
All the wishes that the problem will resolve itself, that the EU or NATO will release Transnistria for Moldova, that Ukraine too will help in this – all this is just another confirmation of intellectual death of Chisinau politicians, complete atrophy of their brain. Of course, the Transnistrian problem may continue to be a side hobby for those possessed by European integration, but it will not be really solved with such an approach. Solving the Transnistrian issue means creating a new state. Nobody knows what kind it may be – If at all. One thing is clear: joint movement of Moldova with Transnistria towards the Eurasian Union - is the minimum requisite for solving the question of reintegration of Moldova somehow practically. It is simply pointless to speculate on how it will happen. Transnistrians do not want to even talk about the political status. This will continue for as long as the Chisinau politicians pretend that they are integrating into Europe. And these politicians can no behave in another way any longer. Because they are zombie.