Moldova is at a crossroads that could bring a dramatic turn in its post-Soviet history. The main reason for the chronic political crisis that’s been eating up Moldova from the inside for years, is related to a constant threat that has existed ever since the break-up from the Soviet Union: namely, the possibility of a Romanian Anschluss. In other words, Romania has been preparing to swallow up Moldova for quite a while.
The persistent political crisis in Moldova has gradually set up the stage and is constantly increasing the possibility of the execution of an Unionist (i.e. pro-Romanian) coup in Chisinau. The main slogan of Unionism is, “Moldova has failed as a state, therefore it should immediately be unified with Romania”, and its advocates have been actively working both among the ruling circles and in the midst of the multi-faceted opposition that’s now openly protesting and pushing for snap elections.
The prepared swallowing of Moldova is related to the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the Great 1918 Romanian Union, when in result of the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Romanian kingdom added vast territories like Transylvania (then part of Hungary), Bukovina (now part of Ukraine), and Southern Dobrudja (before then, and now, part of Bulgaria).
The calls of the Moldovan Unionists are mostly being inspired from Bucharest, but there’ve been a number of signs lately that the Unirea 2018 (Union 2018) project has already received the approval of the leading NATO countries. One piece of evidence for that is the claim of the Romanian branch of the Deutsche Welle media that “the majority of members in the Moldovan government have declared that at the highest level of power in Moldova, there is already an understanding of the necessity to meet the conditions that Romania has put for granting Moldova the promised 150 million euro loan. Without these funds, the government would be no longer able to even pay the salaries and pensions of its citizens”.
As is already well known, in February 2015 the Romanian parliament created a group called Prietenii Unirii (Friends of the Union), including 40 prominent MPs and senators, its main goal being to prepare and present by the end of 2016 a specific plan for the unification of Moldova and Romania. The recent events in Chisinau stongly suggest that this plan has already been put in motion.
In November 2015, a number of Moldovan media reported that the leader of the then still unofficial Rightist Party, Ana Gutu had urged the Moldovans to sign the Unification Declaration that she had proposed, because “the union of Romania and Moldova is unconditionable”. Her hope is that this Declaration could then become law, essentially being a project for a resolution of the Moldovan parliament for the unification of Moldova and Romania into a single state.
In relation to the list of preliminary conditions that Moldova has to meet in order to get the first installment of the promised 150 million euro loan, proposed by Romania, the Moldovan-Romanian oligarch and former prime-minister Ion Sturza jubilantly announced, “The Romanians are coming! For the first time since 1812 Romania as a state will directly take responsibility for the territory between the Prut and Dniester rivers, i.e. Moldova”.
Bucharest, quite obviously a staunch US ally, indeed seems more than prepared and willing to “take the responsibility” for the bloodless annexation of Moldova. The current Moldovan PM Pavel Filip (from the Liberal Party) who recently visited the Romanian capital, was assured there that if the protest activities in Chisinau are activated, the Moldovan government could rely on Romania’s help, because according to the 2013 Military Cooperation Treaty between the two countries, Romania would be able to send its carabineri units across the border if need be.
This is how the Greater Romania idea looked like back in 1939
In its classical version, the Greater Romania project includes the “unification” of Romania with Moldova, Transnistria (a highly contested area dominated by ethnic Russians, which has enjoyed de facto independence for years), as well as parts of Ukraine (Bukovina and possibly parts of the Odessa region), and even in its greatest extent, the north-eastern corner of Bulgaria (i.e. Southern Dobrudja again). In this sense, it’s notable that the deputy chairman of the Liberal Party and current mayor of the capital city Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, has said, “I dream that this damned border finally disappears, and we become one people and one country again… If we were one country, our fate and our life would be quite different”.
Chirtoaca is largely considered a protage and aide to the “evil genius”, the grey cardinal of Romanian politics, and Moldova’s factual patron, oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc (who, btw, is a long-time business partner of the Chocolate King, current Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko). During a recent visit in Iasi, in the presence of Romanian prime-minister Dacian Ciolos and president Klaus Iohannis, the mayor of Chisinau once more called for the unification of the “two Romanian countries”, stating that this was the only option for Moldova to overcome its systematic crisis.
Right now, the majority of the Moldovan parliament is dominated by the Democratic Party, which is completely controlled by Plahotniuc. He expects to be selected president by the parliament (the term of the current head of state Nicolae Timofti expires next month). The Moldovan Unionists have already announced the launching of a specialized TV channel, Unirea TV. The other deputy chairman of the party, Vyacheslav Untile, has said, “I believe our only chance is unification with Romania. And Plahotniuc has already promised that if we pick him up for president, he would manage this unification by 2019”.
It’s a well-known fact that along with Poland, Romania is considered one of the two foreposts of NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe. And the Greater Romania project just so happens to nicely fit into the Polish project called Medzumorie (Inter-sea), which is the creation of an anti-Russian buffer bloc including an arc of countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea to the Adriatic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia).
In other words, the second “great unification” of Romania is potentially a link in the chain of events that makes up the process of the creation of an anti-Eurasianist Baltic/Pontic/Adriatic geopolitical arc, or anti-Russian axis if you like. As the famous Moldovan publicist and chief editor of the local Panorama newspaper, Dmitry Chubashenko says, the plan that Bucharest is having in mind, with the support of its powerful Western patrons, is a “unification” of Moldova and Romania that is essentially an accelerated version of the coveted Euro-Atlantic integration of the latter, because through a simple vote in the Moldovan parliament, and a subsequent simple shifting of the Romanian border a few hundred km to the east, the citizens of Moldova would end up simultaneously NATO and EU citizens just overnight. And then Russia would be having one more problem to deal with, as the geopolitical pressure at its doorstep would increase many times over.
I’m sure you’d agree that the recent NATO decision to place movable military units in those same countries is not helping wind the Doomsday Clock even one bit back, either.