The Gas Attack, IPN Experts


It has become the norm – as Parliamentary elections loom nearer – for us to be treated to gas talks. And it doesn’t matter who holds the power, pro-Europeans or Eurasians. Just like it doesn’t matter where the gas comes out of. It was under such circumstances that Parliament President Andrian Candu told us, during the “Loc de dialog” show on Radio Moldova, that in August, the current month that is, work on the Ungheni-Chișinău segment of the Iași-Chișinău pipeline will commence. Furthermore, the head of the legislative body made reference to another important project related to the energy infrastructure, namely to interconnectivity to the EU grid, including to Romania, highlighting that a loan has been taken and grants have been offered, up to a total of 250 million euros.

How can we react to this uplifting announcement, other than wishing the “best of luck!” Alas, that is until we remember what Andrian Candu was claiming four years ago, from the position of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy at the time. Back then, with two months to go before the elections on November 30, 2014, he claimed the following: “We already have the feasibility studies for the construction of 5 interconnection lines. Starting next year (2015), we will bring the Iași-Ungheni pipeline to Chișinău. It is an alternative that allows us to rely on more than one sole provider. Our mission is to get interconnected to all possible pipelines, to create competition on the market, and to make sure the customers get their gas. Renewable energy also grows very important. We have assumed responsibility towards the EU to create conditions by 2020 for at least 20% of our electricity to be taken from renewable sources. We believe that, starting with 2015, we will have a surge in alternative energy projects.” And that isn’t the end of it. In the same context, Mr. Andrian Candu specified: “By the end of 2014, under the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, we will have developed a feasibility study for the Ungheni-Chișinău pipeline; the technical project will be implemented in 2015, and construction will begin 2016.”

What can we add to these statements made by Deputy Prime Minister Andrian Candu on the eve of the 2014 Parliamentary elections? We can only conclude that the surge in energy projects has been postponed exactly for one election cycle. Nevertheless, we must keep hope that from now on things will evolve as promised. After all, the necessary financial sources have been identified and raised. Yet we have witnessed it more than once – money doesn’t solve everything. Thus, during the same show, the head of the legislative body has given us proof that unpredictable impediments can rise against any project or noble idea. Even if the implementation of said ideas doesn’t cost a penny. In this regard, he made reference to the overdue task the Parliament has towards the solemn promise to amend the Constitution, so as to officialize the European integration option: “the Parliamentary majority still doesn’t have the votes necessary to amend the Constitution, hence, we must discuss it. I truly hope we can compromise with pro-European Parliamentary opposition parties PLDM and PL, that in the upcoming session we will manage to amend the Constitution in this regard.”

It is a pity that the head of the legislative body has avoided mentioning the essence of the compromise they seek. Things seem very clear, PLDM and PL will provide their vote to amend the Constitution, if Article 13 will also be amended to reflect the decision of the Constitutional Court of December 5, 2013. That is, alongside the Constitutional statement of the European clause, PL and PLDM want to have the Romanian language recognized as the official language of Moldova. Nothing more! Can this be the subject of a compromise? In the year of Union Centennial? In the context of connecting to Romanian grids and pipelines? Was it not obvious that we spoke Moldovan when the gas came out of Siberia and …? What hinders the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), whose Vice President is the head of the legislative body, to accept the removal of the discrepancy between Article 13 and the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning the Romanian language? The answer is simple – principles and values!

Proof that principles and values are the main impediment is a collection of statements by PDM Ex-President Marian Lupu, who, on behalf of PDM, reacted promptly to the decision of the Constitutional Court from 05.12.2013: “the Democratic Party took notice of the decision the Constitutional Court issued yesterday… According to PD, the best method to solve this question once and for all is through a referendum. Only the sovereign people, who is above the political elite, can decide. We will discuss this subject with our colleagues from the governing coalition… No one canceled Article 13 of the Constitution. Therefore, those provisions remain valid as well, as are those of the Declaration of Independence. Likewise, I would like to point out the word ‘to prevail’. It doesn’t mean to exclude. This situation certainly does not infringe on each citizen’s fundamental right to self-identification. To highlight principles and values, the then leader of PDM emphasized: “Those who so vehemently insist upon the language change, actually want to give away Moldova’s statehood. They want to create two Romanian countries, later to ask themselves – why have two countries, when we can create a single one, and they will take Moldova off the map.” Consequently, the PDM leader proposed for the amending of the Constitution to also take into account a clause on the Moldovan civic nation.

Thus it can be proven that not only lack of financial resources, of feasibility studies, etc, but more importantly presence of principles and values can hinder the fulfillment of a cardinal promise, in our case the Constitutional promise of European integration. It is enough for PDM on the one hand, or PL and PLDM on the other, to renounce their principles and values to give us an official European option. And it is possible. PDM has managed in December 2015 to modify the principles and values of 14 communist MPs, who have turned overnight from Eurasians into pro-Europeans. Andrian Candu’s hopes are thus justified – where there is a will, there is a way! And it doesn’t even matter where the gas comes out of. After all, it didn’t matter to the 14 ex-communists.

IPN Experts