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Foreign Ministry criticizes Romanian PM over Moldova annexation statement

Foreign Ministry criticizes Romanian PM over Moldova annexation statement
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has denounced Romanian PM Victor Ponta’s plan to unify Moldova with Romania by 2018 as “inadmissible and irresponsible,” and called for all European countries to counter modern expansionism.

Prime Minister Ponta, announced last week that he was entering the race for the Romanian presidency, and said that if elected he would make the unification of Romania and Moldova his main objective.

We consider it irresponsible and inadmissible to multiply such statements when an election campaign is under way in Moldova. We expect the Chisinau authorities to give an adequate appraisal of these words. We also hold that a reaction must follow from Brussels and other European capitals,” the Russian Foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russian diplomats added that authorities in Moscow were concerned how certain Bucharest circles have annexation plans concerning the sovereignty and neutrality of Moldova.

Romanian nationalists have had plans to annex Moldova ever since it emerged as an independent nation in the early 1990s. Bucharest officials introduced a simplified citizenship procedure for Moldovans and thousands of people have already used it, especially after Romanians received the right of visa free travel in the EU.

This year Romania sponsored a national census in Moldova, and the Romanian ambassador told reporters that his country was interested in the number of Moldovans who spoke Romanian and considered themselves Romanians.

Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU in June this year and ratified it in July. After this move Moscow warned Chisinau that it would cause a review of trade links between Russia and Moldova. In addition, Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said that the agreement violated the basic rights of residents of the Russian-speaking breakaway Republic of Transdniester. Rogozin also promised Russia’s fully-fledged support to the region.

In the same speech Rogozin attacked Moldova’s pro-EU position, saying that this course was countering “life’s natural logic,” as about 700,000 Moldovan citizens are now working in Russia as labor migrants, and their earnings are supporting the state budget of their homeland.