Anti-NATO phobia and Kremlin-branded Nazi syndrome. Op-Ed by Anatol Țăranu



The danger of Nazification of the Kremlin regime becomes one of the most alarming signals for such a vulnerable state as the Republic of Moldova and its people. Expanding Chisinau’s cooperation with NATO is absolutely necessary to amplify the state’s resilience, but complex and sustainable national security can only be achieved by extending the North Atlantic security blanket over the space of the Republic of Moldova...


Anatol Țăranu

Chisinau recently hosted a roundtable meeting organized by “Alexandru Moșanu” Association of Historians of the Republic of Moldova under the theme “Accession to NATO, solution to safeguard Moldovan statehood and precondition for the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the EU”. During the roundtable meeting, the participants debated several issues related to the relationship of the Republic of Moldova with NATO throughout the period of independence of the state, this relationship being influenced by the process of Moldova’s rapprochement with the European Union. In particular, it was pointed out that the experience of other states’ accession to the European community, as a rule, was accompanied by the admission of new states to the EU only after they first joined the North Atlantic Alliance.

Only membership in NATO, however...

At the same time, attention was drawn to the international context in which, in the immediate vicinity of the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation has been waging an aggressive war against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, while the administration at the Kremlin repeatedly and openly made bellicose statements against the Moldovan state. Given such circumstances, in order to ensure the independence and sovereignty of the state, the government should start without delay to develop a set of actions aimed at strengthening the state’s defense capability and national security.

According to most of the participants in the debates, only the membership in NATO membership can, under the current conditions, to guarantee the security of such a state as the Republic of Moldova, which potentially is exposed to the real risk of becoming an object of the Russian military aggression, following the example of Ukrainian. However, despite this existential danger to the state, the largest part of the Republic of Moldova’s population remains hostage to the old Soviet propaganda precepts and, more recently, to the Russian propaganda about NATO’s aggressive character. According to opinion polls, only between 26% and 33% of the respondents are in favor of the Republic of Moldova’s accession to NATO today, this collective perception condemning the Moldovan state to the condition of an incapable victim.

Poor policies on education

This state of the Moldovan collective mindset in relation to NATO imprints on the Republic of Moldova the condition of maximum vulnerability to the Russian danger. The cause of this embarrassing situation was explained by the precarious condition of the state policies on the education of the population to acknowledge the true solutions for guaranteeing sustainable and all-encompassing national security. Attention was drawn to the lack in the text of the current National Security Strategy of an explicit reference to the place and role that NATO can potentially play in ensuring the national security of the Republic of Moldova. Hence the recommendation on the need to initiate a broad public debate in which politicians, scientists, specialists in the field of defense and national security will explain to the population the true essence and true objectives of the North Atlantic Alliance.

The fundamental argument in favor of the effectiveness of the policies pursued by the NATO bloc lies in the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance has not admitted in its area of responsibility any military conflict since the end of World War II. The NATO area has become over time not only the space of military security provided by its members, but also the space of economic and social prosperity, as well as of the highest standards of democratic organization of the life of society. Due to these civilizational achievements, NATO has become an attraction objective for most of the European states, which, in order to become members of this international political-military organization, were obliged to fulfill a series of conditions to align themselves with the Alliance functioning norms. Therefore, NATO didn’t pursue targeted policies to attract new members, the organization being expanded at the expense of the voluntary aspiration of the candidates for accession.

The Republic of Moldova, on the counterflow

After the implosion of the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty, most of the former socialist states freed from Soviet imperialist tutelage became NATO members, thus guaranteeing their military security and ensuring the conditions for rapid and sustainable economic development. The same development course was assumed by the former Soviet Baltic republics, whose membership in NATO guaranteed security in the face of post-Soviet Moscow’s imperialist revenge, as well as rapid accession to the EU with all the economic and social advantages characteristic of this community.

Unlike the Baltic states, the rest of the former Soviet republics in the European zone, including the Republic of Moldova, missed the NATO test and remained in the gray zone of the geopolitical influence of the former colonial metropolis. This delay in choosing in time the civilizational development direction cost them a lot and turned them into potential, but also real victims of the Russian imperialist revenge. Georgia’s and Ukraine’s belated attempt to guarantee the security of their states by joining NATO provoked Moscow’s military aggression against these sovereign states in 2008 and 2022. The Republic of Moldova, with its status of neutrality enshrined in the Constitution, also cannot guarantee its security against the Russian military aggression, being saved for now only by the heroism of the Ukrainian soldiers, who do not allow the Russian army to reach directly Moldova’s borders.

Where did contemporary Nazism go?

During the debates at the roundtable meeting, attention was drawn to the Nazi component present in Moscow’s policies in relation to the sovereign wishes of some of the former Soviet republics to become NATO members. A parallel was drawn between Hitler’s Nazi policies and Putin’s Nazi-like policies. Hitler justified the military expansion of the fascist regime by the supremacy of the Aryan race over other inferior races, using the war argument to conquer the living space (in German, Lebensraum) for the supposedly superior German race. Putin is also waging a war against Ukraine in order to restore the vital space of Russians (in Russian, Ruskii mir), trying to prevent this country’s accession to NATO by invoking the need to ensure Russia’s strategic military security. But such an approach to the causes of the war against Ukraine is part of a crass Nazi argument, which comes to validate the right of the Russians – a nation that is supposedly superior in Putin’s logic, to guarantee its strategic military security at the expense of the Ukrainian nation, which the Kremlin leader deems inferior to the point of non-existence.

The Kremlin’s propaganda justifies the war against Ukraine also by the need to denazify this country. In reality, Moscow’s imperialist policy, which refuses the sovereign states and nations the right to choose for themselves how to ensure their own national security, becomes an explicit manifestation of the Nazi policy of superiority of one nation over others, the legitimate interests of which must be subordinated to the interests of the Russian nation. Under such circumstances, it becomes obvious that it was not Kiev, but rather Moscow that became the place where a real Nazi political regime found refuge.

Only viable security blanket

The danger of Nazification of the Kremlin regime becomes one of the most alarming signals for such a vulnerable state as the Republic of Moldova and its people. Expanding Chisinau’s cooperation with NATO is absolutely necessary to amplify the state’s resilience, but complex and sustainable national security can only be achieved by extending the North Atlantic security blanket over the space of the Republic of Moldova.

In 1918, the danger to Bessarabia coming from the decaying Russian army on the Romanian front played an important role in the Union with Romania. Today, the existential danger to Moldova eastward the Prut River, caused by the imperialist policy of Putin’s Russia, opens again the corridor for saving this Romanian space by moving it under the NATO umbrella as part of the reunified Romania, this being one of the conclusions of the roundtable meeting centering on the relationship of the Republic of Moldova with NATO.

Anatol Țăranu
doctor of history, political commentator

IPN publishes in the Op-Ed rubric opinion pieces submitted by authors not affiliated with our editorial board. The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily coincide with the opinions of our editorial board.

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