Igor Boțan: Romanian Ministry of Defense has reasons to come up with a bill to protect citizens abroad

The bill of the Ministry of Defense of Romania, which enables Romania to protect its citizens abroad, provides for defense in particular types of actions, such as occupation of 12% of the country’s territory, influencing of the choice, destabilization of the situation or others, the permanent expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to him, the Moldovan authorities and most of the citizens start from the fact that Romania is an EU member state, which a priori means that in Romania the decision-making process is very well regulated and complies with both Romania’s internal laws and international standards.

The expert noted that Romania, according to statistics, has over one million citizens in the Republic of Moldova, which is one third of the entire population. If the Romanian Ministry of Defense comes up with such a bill, it must be understood that there are reasons for such a move. Any bill that later becomes law means general, universal regulations of a field. “Such bills do not appear out of the blue. Before starting the lawmaking process, passing all the stages of decisional transparency, analyses were carried out to determine the need for such a bill,” he said.

Romanian and Moldova experts stated that in the summer of 2020, under certain circumstances, the President of Russia in an American magazine published an article in which he justified the Nazi aggression and the start of World War II. He did the same in an interview given in February 20245 to an American journalist. “When the war in Ukraine started, Vladimir Putin invoked the right to defense. It can be seen that Russia, after having prepared the ground conceptually, justified the right to German Nazi revanchism and drew parallels, saying that Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has such rights, and then started to use the same instruments in Ukraine,” he said.

The expert also referred to how the Russian Federation applies the legislation on compatriots and how it violates its own legislation on the use of armed forces for the so-called protection of compatriots. “On May 2, 2017, the Constitutional Court actually ascertained that Transnistria is occupied by the Russian Federation, despite the status of neutrality of the Republic of Moldova and all the consequences deriving from this situation. There were also premeditated actions to destabilize the Republic of Moldova. We can remind the elections of March 6, 2005, when citizens of the Russian Federation were detained and expelled for following the then-President Vladimir Voronin during the election campaign. In the autumn of 2022, there were nonstop protests in the Republic of Moldova and now it turns out that those protests were financed from the Russian Federation, and the protest leaders said that their goal was to overthrow the legal and legitimate government of the Republic of Moldova and establish a regime of those insurgents who even intended to form a tribunal. This fact served as an argument for the Constitutional Court to declare a party unconstitutional,” stated Igor Boțan.

As for the fragmentation of Moldovan society depending on the attitude towards the protection of citizens settled abroad, the expert noted that the divided segments of Moldovan society remain constant. “There are, on the one hand, citizens of the Republic of Moldova who have pro-European aspirations. A large segment of them would accept the union with Romania – about 40%. Importantly, this segment in 2014-2025 represented about 17%. And there is the other segment into which those who can be called compatriots of the Russian Federation can be incorporated. These are the citizens of the Republic of Moldova who support the Eurasian integration, the policies pursued by the Russian Federation. It should be clear that there are two real segments and the citizens of the Republic of Moldova should be explained this. There is the rule of democracy that the minority complies with the decision of the majority, while the majority respects the rights of the minority. This is the formula that must contribute to maintaining stability in Moldova within the legal framework,” said expert Igor Boțan.

The public debate entitled “How Russia and Romania defend their citizens abroad” was the 304th installment of IPN’s project “Developing political culture through public debates”, which is implemented with the support of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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