Anatol Petrencu: Collapse of Soviet Union was a triumph for countries annexed by force

The dissolution of the Soviet Union was a triumph for the countries that were annexed by military force, historian Anatol Petrencu stated in IPN’s public debate “EU enlargement after the collapse of the USSR: causes and effects. Moldova’s lesson”. According to him, the European Union has been an attractive target for ex-Soviet countries because the bloc is an entity that respects human rights and ensures the security of citizens.

Anatol Petrencu, Ph.D. in history, said that beyond the Russian rhetoric about the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this process was a victory for the countries that were forcibly annexed to the USSR. As opposed to the Soviet Union, the European Union offered ex-Soviet and ex-Communist states respect for human rights, social and economic security.

“As for the collapse of the Soviet Union, we know that Putin considers this to have been the greatest geopolitical catastrophe, which is not true. The dissolution of the Soviet Union was a triumph of the peoples annexed by military force to the Soviet Union at various stages. In 1991, the Baltic countries renounced the proposals, offers made by the Russian Federation. In December 1991, in Alma-Ata, the Commonwealth of Independent States was established with the idea of creating a community of states to compete with the European Union. But the ambitions of Yeltsin, the then president of the Russian Federation, became noticeable quickly. The former Communist countries Poland, Hungary, the Baltic countries more than once rose up against communism and Soviet domination. Therefore, by proclaiming their independence, of course the European Union was an attractive objective for them, because here the human rights are respected, the state serves the citizen, not the citizens serve the state,” said Anatol Petrencu.

According to the historian, the Baltic countries are an eloquent example of states that have definitively renounced the “Russian world”, turning to the European Union. If countries aspiring to join the EU meet the criteria of economic development and the rule of law, they are accepted into the great European family.

“The Republic of Moldova must cope with the economic level of the European Union. We must have a competitive economy with the countries of the European Union. The Baltic countries had this competitiveness. They also had a higher degree of development and standard of living in the Soviet Union. These states were more developed than the metropolis of Russia. For this reason, we should not be surprised that they were quickly accepted in the EU. The rule of law works in the Baltic countries and if these criteria are met, the countries are accepted into the EU,” stated Anatol Petrencu.

According to him, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine changed the attitude of the European Union towards Russia, and Moldova, as an EU candidate country, must adapt to the new realities.

“Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine changes things a lot. Europe’s dependence on Russian gas was found to be very dangerous for the existence of the European Union. In recent years. We have witnessed a distancing from the energy sources of Russia. The search for other alternative sources changes the situation of the European Union and the Republic of Moldova, which wants to integrate, must take into account these changes,” explained Anatol Petrencu.

The public debate entitled “EU enlargement after the collapse of the USSR. Moldova’s lesson” was the 36th installment of the series “Impact of the past on confidence- and peace-building processes”. IPN News Agency carries out this project with the support of the German “Hanns Seidel” Foundation.

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