Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s visit to Bucharest is viewed differently on the two banks of the Prut, writes dw.com
Some Romanian political analysts see an attempt by President Klaus Iohannis to transfer a positive image from Maia Sandu, after the political conspiracies in which he has been involved lately, which would have discredited him. In Chisinau, Maia Sandu’s visit to Romania is set in the context of a scandal generated by a statement made in Moscow (near the Iohannis-Sandu meeting) by Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu. He stated in an interview that most citizens of the Republic of Moldova would not want to unite with Romania, which is why the unionists demanded his resignation. Nicu Popescu accompanies Maia Sandu during her visit to Bucharest.
Officially, the visit of the Moldovan president to Romania takes place in the context of celebrating 30 years since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two states. On this occasion, the foreign ministers Nicu Popescu and Bogdan Aurescu signed on Tuesday a “roadmap” on the priority areas of cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and Romania. This document aims to ensure the irreversibility of the European integration process of the Republic of Moldova. It contains four basic elements: strengthening the language, history and culture community; strengthening common infrastructure through the construction of bridges, the abolition of roaming and energy interconnections; unconditional support for the reform process and European integration; economic and social development by ensuring modern public institutions and independent justice.
In Bucharest, Maia Sandu spoke about the “unique political moment” that arose in Chisinau, to obtain “historic results” in the Moldovan-Romanian relationship. “We have all the leverage to build a strong and mutually beneficial partnership that will help us overcome the pandemic crisis. We still count on Romania’s important voice within the EU. European integration is a major goal of the Republic of Moldova, which we can achieve with the support of our friends in Bucharest. We are in a unique moment from a political point of view in Chisinau and from Bucharest we have a strong message of support. There are all the prerequisites for obtaining historical results in our relationship “, mentioned Maia Sandu.
Among other things, Klaus Iohannis brought up the issue of the unsolved conflict on the Dniester. In addition to the position usually expressed by Romanian officials, President Iohannis added another element. He said that the Transnistrian dispute must be resolved “without affecting the pro-European future of the Republic of Moldova”: “We reiterate our well-known position – Romania supports a comprehensive, peaceful and lasting settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, its internationally recognized borders and without affecting its pro-European future ”.
Iohannis also said that Chisinau enjoys “overwhelming, sustainable and cross-party” support in Bucharest and that the two banks of the Prut “are united by an extremely strong link – the community of language, culture and history”: “We want to The Republic of Moldova should develop according to the European model for the benefit of its citizens. Romania will remain the closest friend of the Republic of Moldova. We have made consistent efforts to keep the Republic of Moldova a priority on the EU agenda, an effort made together with other important partners, such as the USA “, said the President of Romania.
The two presidents made press statements and withdrew without answering any questions from journalists. In their official statements, none of them raised the sensitive issue of union. This is in the context in which in Chisinau there is a hot discussion about the gesture made, on the eve, in Moscow, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, Nicu Popescu. He stated in a radio show that most of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova would not want to unite with Romania. Returning to Chisinau from Moscow, he stated that he assumes this statement and that he does not change his beliefs and statements depending on the situation in which he finds himself. Popescu added that he would say the same thing in Moscow, in Chisinau, and Bucharest, Brussels or Washington.
According to the latest reference survey conducted in the Republic of Moldova, 44% of Bessarabians would be in favour of a union with Romania.