Igor Boțan: Moldovan-Russian relations do not meet provisions of bilateral treaty

The relations between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation are based on formal provisions of the basic treaty between the two states, but the bilateral interaction by far does not correspond to what is stipulated there. With Romania, Moldova didn’t sign a basic treaty, but the bilateral cooperation is really “special”. “On the other hand, we have formalities in the relations with the Russian Federation, while the realities are different, while the situation in the case of Romania is the opposite and we enjoy this country’s full support.  This defines the status of the special relations between the Republic of Moldova and Romania,” Igor Boțan stated in public debates hosted by IPN.  

According to the expert, the basic treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova starts from the fact that the two states recognize each other as sovereign, independent states and the Russian Federation undertook to assist the Republic of Moldova in settling the Transnistrian conflict and to cooperate in the economic and commercial spheres. “In a year of the signing of the treaty, the then President of the Republic of Moldova Vladimir Voronin publicly said that he will look for another strategic partner and this was found. The European Union in March 2002 announced the European neighborhood policy strategy with a financial instrument, while the neighborhood policy itself was adopted in 2004 and this way, slowly, despite the formulations of the Moldovan-Russian treaty, the Republic of Moldova found another strategic partner,” stated Igor Boțan. By inviting EUBAM to Moldova, Vladimir Voronin brought the Moldovan-Russian relations to another level and things changed cardinally. Russia accused the Republic of Moldova of blocking Transnistria, responding by restrictions on Moldova’s exports to the Russian market and by other instruments of pressure.

The subjective factor is evident in the Moldovan-Russian relations: Moscow reacts to some of the regional developments based not on the provisions of the basic Moldovan-Russian treaty, but as the Kremlin leader wants.

On the other hand, the Moldova-Romanian relations are “special” indeed. “Ex-President Băsescu clearly responded to the perpetual discussions about the necessity of a basic agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Romania: our relations are so specific that our countries do not need such a treaty as this treaty would justify the theft committed by the Soviet Union in 1940,” stated Igor Boțan. According to him, some challenged the signing of the border regime agreement between Moldova and Romania in the absence of a state border agreement. “Romania’s Ambassador in Chisinau clearly stated that Romania starts from the fact that the Republic of Moldova, as it was declared, is the successor of the Soviet Union and there was the Romanian-Soviet treaty.”

A series of protocols, bilateral agreements signed with Romania were aimed at offering assistance to the Republic of Moldova. “These things are evident and the citizens feel them, including as reads the studying by young people at education intuitions in Romania. Currently, about one third of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova have Romanian nationality and this means that integration occurs through this individual path. It goes to about 1 million people,” noted Igor Boțan.

The public debate “Chromatic scale of Moldovan-Russian and Moldovan-Romanian relations: affinities, dissimilarities, motives, processes, solutions” is the 215th installment of the series of debates “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. The project is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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