Scoop Search

Friday, April 10, 2009

Romanian grapevine revolution

Foreign Minister details 'messianic' Moldova meddling

Moldova's coat of arms - the only difference
between Moldovan and Romanian flags

Months after snatching Serpent's Island from Ukraine, Romania’s Foreign Minister admitted that Romanians were involved in the protests that rocked neighbouring Moldova after elections last week. The poorest European republic’s “pro-European” communist party (PCRM) won a majority to the legislature it has dominated for the last eight years.

Mobilized via Internet, 10,000 mostly youth reportedly took to the streets of Chisinau to protest against the commies and their leader Vladimir Voronin, who has ruled Moldova as president since 2001. Some waved the flag of Romania (that is identical to that of Moldova sans coat-of-arms). Many went overboard and vandalized the parliament building (estimated $40 mln in damages) and presidential offices. Police reportedly detained 200 protesters. (Protests had subsided by week’s end, when “pro-European” communist Voronin, by now enjoying Russia’s support, announced an election recount.)

While lamenting Chisinau’s decision to cancel visa-free travel for Romanians, Romania’s top diplomat Cristian Diaconescu also publicly confirmed that Bucharest has been in the business of giving out passports to Molodovans. He accused Moldova of failing “to act according to the European pattern.”

Additional details about Romanian involvement in the protests, presumably done under the pretext of “getting Moldova closer to Europe” were revealed by Diaconescu during his April 9 press briefing in Bucharest:

“Starting with yesterday [April 8], the authorities in Chisinau carry out a methodical operation for the identification of the persons that participated in the manifestations that took place on 7 and 8 April, 2009. From the …General Prosecutor of the Republic of Moldova we understand that there are also foreign citizens among the 200 persons that are said to be arrested. We have also sent a notification and we are launching a firm and insisting call to the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to officially state the number of Romanian citizens arrested…”

“Thirdly… the internal situation of this State [Moldova] raises important issues regarding the safety of the Romanian citizens to whom we recommend to avoid the travels (sic) to this country. We know that this recommendation makes it difficult for the people with double citizenship, especially because the Orthodox Eastern (sic) is near. Unfortunately we have to make such a recommendation, following the actions and measures taken at Chisinau.”

“…we will continue to support the Republic of Moldova to get closer to the European Union. We consider that this action remains the best option for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and for the consistency of the Romanian foreign policy during the last years.”

Diaconescu said that Romania has requested “solidarity” from the EU and NATO “to counteract the deviations from the standards of democracy and of the international law, which, at this moment, we think that it represents a sources (sic) of instability in the region were (sic) our country lies.”

Ukraine asked to extradite alleged riot financeers Gabriel Stati and Auren Marinescu, both detained in Odesa after the violent protests

Diaconescu's full April 9 press conference:

No comments: