Bessarabia’s Union with Romania was a democratic process that was intensely negotiated between the leaders of the times and was supported by most of the natives, Doctor of History Ludmila Kichuk, pro-rector of the Cahul State University “Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu”, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the historian, the Union wasn’t welcomed by Russia, which continued to have imperial pretentions with regard to the territory between the Prut and the Nistru.
Ludmila Kichuk said that on March 27, 1918, the People’s Council in Chisinau voted for the Union between Bessarabia and Romania. The historical event opened the way for the Great Union that ended with the Great National Assembly in Alba Iulia on December 1, 1918, when the Romanians from Transylvania, Banat, Maramureș and Crișana decided in favor of the Union with the country. The event laid the basis of the modern Romanian state. According to historians, the decision taken by the supreme representative body in Chisinau was democratic and transparent. The decision by the People’s Council was taken before everyone’s eyes, not behind the curtains.
According to the doctor of history, the dismemberment of the Russian Empire as a result of the Russian revolution of February 1917 represented an opportune moment for the peoples of the empire to decide by themselves their fate. The Bessarabian politicians profited from the favorable conjuncture, intensely promoting the Union with Romania as a consistent solution to the development and modernization of Bessarabia.
Russia never supported the idea of Bessarabia’s Union with Romania. The effects of the Union were annulled on June 28, 1940, when Russia annexed Bessarabia based on the secret part of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.
“The international recognition of the Union was obtained at the Paris Peace Conference that was held during a year. Russia’s representatives didn’t take part in that conference. Russia didn’t abandon its imperial ideas and considered it wasn’t normal for the great powers to reorganize Bessarabia’s Union with Romania as this meant the loss of Bessarabia. It wasn’t easy to obtain the international recognition of the Union. The fact that the decision wasn’t ratified by all the states didn’t yet mean that it didn’t take effect and wasn’t accepted,” stated Ludmila Kichuk.
The public debate entitled “Union of 1918: what was it, why was it and for what?” was the sixth installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.