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Dmitry Soin: Transniestrian anchor for Moldova

English // 08:43, 16 декабря 2008 // 3788
Today Transniestria is the only anchor which still keeps Moldova in the sphere of the Russian geopolitical influence despite huge financial, political, information and organizational streams from Romania, EU and the USA which are directed on the Euro Atlantic reorientation of Moldova. One can ask, how can small Transniestria manage with this problem and whether it is necessary to keep Moldova? Doesn't Moldova want to cooperate with Russia after it meets first persons from Russia so hospitable in Kishinev? Perhaps the necessity for «Transniestria anchor» has disappeared and Moldova is about to become the part of Mother Russia? Perhaps, but still there is a number of strategically important questions which still were not answered. Question number one. Today nobody has cancelled the official line of Moldova on the eurointegration and  further rapprochement with NATO. All spectrum - from right to left political parties of Moldova openly and exact speak about it. National-Liberal parties demand eurointegration and withdrawal of the Russian troops from Transniestria. Centrists and communists demand the same, but without fanaticism, persistently reminding Moscow about notorious Istanbul agreements and the neutral status of Moldova. The line on integration with Europe today is the official way for the Communistс Party of Moldova. Even the name of foreign policy department of Moldova is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European integration. It is remarkable, these days senior officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs sounded the idea to increase the status of the USA and EU in the negotiations format "5+2". Now Americans and Europeans became participants of negotiations instead their status of observers. Perhaps, there is nothing catastrophic, but the policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European integration of Moldova is rather indicative. It is the first question without the answer - if Kishinev deepens relations with Russia than why its western flank is so active?
It is not surprising, that on this background in a civil society of Moldova arises the wave of the Antirussian moods. Automobile races, marches, meetings and pickets are organized with the requirement of an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Transniestria with subsequent entrance of Moldova into NATO. The Communist Party tries to resist it, but it looks non-effective. For example, in Beltsy members of the Komsomol have beaten participants of the Antirussian picket. But it is difficult to say whether it would be effective or not, as the Communistic Party constantly underlines its Proeuropean course. Today the Communist Party of Republic Moldova is the most loyal political force to Russia. But, even in its depths the Antirussian proNATO tendencies gain strength. Unlike the veterans of the movement, young communists prefer to go not to Moscow but Washington, Bruxelles and Strasbourg. They like Europe, NATO and the USA. Moreover they are accepted at the highest level, providing the maximum comfort and hospitality. Under the Constitution of Moldova Vladimir Voronin cannot apply in the third time on the post of the president, and it means, that there will be new figures in the Communist Party and in the country leaders. And, most likely, it will be not the Prorussian personnel. Certainly, communists will take the majority of votes on these elections, but if their victory be convincing - that's a big question. On the background of forthcoming economic crisis they are gnawed by national-liberals. And these guys do nothing without the preliminary coordination with the Euroatlantic structures. Therefore the forecast on the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova for Russia is unfavorable. Just two forces can come into power in Kishinev: moderately Antirussian and considerably Antirussian. Certainly, Moscow has a set of economic influences to pressure upon Kishinev. However, as shows the practice with the Ukraine, they are not always effective. Especially in the conditions when Antirussian are not only the country elite but civil society. Today politicians and experts like to discuss that in Kishinev one can hear Russian speech more than Moldavian. It is not excluded; moreover, it is possible because the inhabitants of Kishinev speak with them as with visitors bad, but Russian language. The reality is that for years of independence of the Moldavian province Russian language is forgotten. In the cities Russian speak either people of elder ages, or periodically appearing people, who work abroad, especially in Russia. One my friend wanted to make a complain in Russian. The lawyer he hired to help couldn't help him. If she could speak Russian fluently, she absolutely couldn't write in Russian.
The Moldavian youth and intelligence feel themselves belonging to the great Romanian nation and wish to study, work and have rest in Europe. Far and cold Russia is not attractive to them. Moreover, sometimes Russia is perceived as a harm source, as the country where in streets of cities in a fierce icy cold wander wild bears. Certainly, there are separate centers of Russian culture in Moldova. In the same place there are both insignificant on number and weak on influence Prorussian political groups. The course of movement of the Moldavian ship has been set in pawn in 1989 when the Moldavian elite has counted on separation from the USSR, introduction of the Romanian language, association with Romania and replacement from all spheres of life of the society the Russian-speaking population. Certainly, it not the best time to reconcile that Russia has lost Moldova. Thereу were historical cases when Bessarabia joined at first strong Russian empire and then Soviet Union. Today, when the most severe crisis shakes values and economic bases of the western society, strengthening of Russia will provoke the changes in Moldova. Probably, the Prorussian political forces will start to be structured and get serious influence . But it will take a time. Probably, years. Therefore it is so important to keep Moldova in its neutral position. In that position when Kishinev, actively maneuvering between East and West, nevertheless will not make a definitive geopolitical choice. That is why the independent Transniestrian anchor is actual for Moldova.
What is present Transniestria? Small nonrecognized republic with powerful industrial potential from the moment of its formation is oriented on Moscow. From a half-million of citizens, about 120 thousand have passports of the Russian Federation. According the results of the Referendum on September, 17th, 2006, not only they, but also the overwhelming majority of transniestrians with other citizenships support the integration with Russia. Despite the unrecognized status, PMR has all institutes of the government. There is an expert opinion, that the level of the statehood development in Transniestria is higher than in recognized Moldova. While Kishinev will not settle the conflict, it would be not accepted in EU and NATO. Thus, Transniestria by right can be called the Russian anchor for Moldova. Certainly, in the conditions of global crisis and economic blockade Tiraspol requires complex support of Moscow. First of all, financial and economic. The future of its Balkan policy will depend from the help, Russia will provide to Transniestria. In this context is very important to understand the following technical detail: while the anchor is at the bottom, it can keep a vessel in a concrete point. But as soon as it will be lifted aboard, the vessel will sail away. For example, in Romania or NATO.