Romanian Response To Moldova 'Inadequate', Increased Tension – PACE

A report which will be under debate Wednesday evening in a special session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe criticizes the Romanian authorities’ response in the context of tensions with the Republic of Moldova, assessing it as “inadequate and leading to even more tension.”

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Imaginea articolului Romanian Response To Moldova 'Inadequate', Increased Tension – PACE

Romanian Response To Moldova 'Inadequate', Increased Tension – PACE

The report on the activity of democratic institutions in Moldova will be debated in the Assembly and a position will be adopted at the end.

The document explains the events in Moldova in detail over 17 pages.

“We strongly disapprove the statement of President Voronin implying direct involvement of the Romanian authorities in the violent protests. This is a very severe accusation which cannot be made publicly without a thorough investigation,” the document says.

“At the same time, we consider that the response of the Romanian authorities was not appropriate and heated up the relations between the two neighbouring countries even more instead of calming the tensions down. Moldova and Romania have a complex common history and the leaders of both countries have to speak about both countries’ national identities with utmost caution and responsibility.”

“We believe that both sides have to show restraint and behave in a responsible manner while the events of 7 April are being investigated and all facts are being established,” the document says

Referring particularly to president Voronin’s accusations regarding Romania’s involvement in organizing the riots, the document notes concern about a “serious degradation of the relations between Moldova and Romania.”

“During the violent events of 7 April, the border between Moldova and Romania was closed. The train connection between Chisinau and Bucharest was cancelled on the following day. Subsequently, the Moldovan Ambassador in Romania was recalled to Chisinau for consultations and the Romanian Ambassador to and the Deputy Head of Mission in Moldova were declared persona non grata. At the same time, the visa regime for Romanian nationals travelling to Moldova was introduced. As a result of this measure and following the closing of the border, a number of Romanian journalists were expelled from the country and some 20 others were refused entry at the border,” the report shows.

“The accusation by President Voronin about Romania’s involvement in the riots provoked a harsh reaction on the side of Romanian authorities. The Romanian Parliament, in a joint meeting of the Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies, adopted a joint declaration rejecting all accusations and stating that the actions of the Moldovan authorities were motivated by ‘panic and powerlessness’.”

Also, the document says that, in his speech before Parliament, President Traian Basescu stated that, should the oppressive actions of the Moldovan Government continue, Romanian authorities would have to invoke article 7 of the Romanian Constitution, which obliges Romania to support Moldovans “who consider themselves Romanians and feel like Romanians.” At this point, the report cites the English version of Moldovan daily “Azi” as a source.

Article 7 of the Romanian Constitution says that “the state supports the connection between Romanians outside the country and acts to maintain, develop and express their ethnical, cultural, linguistic and religious identity, all the while respecting the state where they have citizenship.”

“Subsequently, the Government of Romania simplified the procedure for granting Romanian citizenship to certain categories of applicants, in particular, to former Romanian citizens who gained Romanian nationality by birth and who lost it for reasons that cannot be imputed on them or whose Romanian nationality was cancelled without their consent,” the text says, again citing Moldovan daily “Azi”.

“We also consider that the countries adjoining Moldova, particularly Romania, Ukraine and Russia, must play a constructive role in calming the tensions and promote dialogue between all the political players, while respecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the document says towards its end.

The report was developed by Josette Durrieu, representing the French Socialists, and Egidijus Vareikis, a Lithuanian Christian-Democrat.

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