Iurie Leanca: Nobody in EU will ask Moldovans what their ethnicity is

Does Moldova face the risk of experiencing the Ukraine scenario – intervention by another state on the pretext of ‘protecting’  the speakers of Russian, Romanian or Moldovan, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Gagauz etc ? What should we do for the country’s people to feel at home in Moldova? IPN Agency is producing a series of articles where politicians, experts and representatives of national minorities provide answers to these and other questions.

Prime Minister Iurie Leanca has told IPN that both the majority population and the ethnic minorities will enjoy the benefits of coming closer to the European Union. It will happen after April 28, when the Moldovans will not need short-stay visas to travel to the EU. Nobody in the EU will ask the Moldovans what their ethnicity is. What counts is the biometric passport of Moldova.

The official said that the national minorities in Moldova have always lived in peace and harmony with the majority population, which shows an increased level of tolerance of them. The ethnic minorities have the guaranteed rights to study in the mother tongue, to promote their traditions and to take part in the country’s social-political life because they are fully-fledged members of Moldovan society.

According to Iurie Leanca, it’s normal for a diversity of opinions on the country’s internal and external policy to exist when there is a diversity of ethnic groups. However, it’s crucial for these differences to be reflected in actions that are within the law. Manipulation or disinformation amid the promotion of the rights of the national minorities is inadmissible. Any attitude must materialize in that democratic exercise called ‘elections’.

The Premier underlined that we all want to live in peace and harmony, without tensions and animosities, with the people respecting each other, regardless of their ethnic origin, the spoken language and the color of the skin. When sparkles with smell of separatism appear, it is important to discourage them by dialogue and discussions with the ordinary people. The people must be told that separatism never brought peace and stability and never favored the people in general. It favored only a small group of people who pursue party interests that are far from being noble.

The Premier does not think that the situation in Moldova can be compared with that in Ukraine. “What happened in the neighboring country was a direct consequence of the oscillating policy pursued by the former Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who decided not to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in the last moment. This deviation disappointed the Ukrainians, who had high and justified hopes of the rapprochement with the European Union,” said Iurie Leanca. In Chisinau, the Government’s policy was and remains consistent in this respect. “We didn’t hesitate at all over our European option and the promotion of reforms.”

The Prime Minister is convinced that the unique ethnic and cultural patrimony of Moldova must be maximally developed as culture has always been a unifying factor and a link between peoples, countries and times. That’s why the Government will continue to support the strengthening of the cultural identity of the people who, regardless of their ethnicity, have the freedom to keep their traditions, to study their first language in schools and to read and watch programs in their mother tongue. They must only want.

For their part, the authorities will encourage the ethnic minorities to learn the language of Donici and Vieru. Iurie Leanca said that European state where the Romanian Eminescu, the Ukrainian Shevchenko and the Russian Pushkin are al appreciated can be built only by bilingual education. United Europe’s slogan is “Unity through Diversity”, said the Premier, expressing his confidence that diversity can make all the Moldovan people more united and powerful.

Mariana Galben, IPN

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