Last Wednesday, June 16, 2021, humanity was watching the meeting of two presidents of states. The dialogue between the two was organized in Geneva, Switzerland, but the border between their two worlds remains on the river Prut and it seems that we forgot about it.
The Biden-Putin political spectacle must also be watched closely in Chișinău. Do the two have something on their agenda about Moldova, about the elections, or about the way the Moldovan strawberries were washed away by the rain? Of course not. However, the worlds of the two poles meet where NATO’s border is, and Moldova is precisely at this border.
In anticipation of the Biden-Putin meeting, the US President toured Europe, participating in the NATO Summit. Moldova was mentioned twice in the official declaration of this Summit. Russia was mentioned 34 times, and Ukraine – 11 times, while Romania – 2 times. It is a joint statement of the leaders of the 30 NATO states and we are a subject in the context of the territorial integrity of post-Soviet countries that have Russian armies stationed on separatist territories: Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova. NATO states have reiterated their support for territorial integrity in this area.
Ukraine started to appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with NATO for its territorial integrity when it had to face the Russian aggressor and understood that it was not doing well. Ukraine is now making great strides and extensive efforts to become a NATO member. It’s just that NATO has rules and doesn’t accept anyone it wants whenever it wants. To join NATO, Ukraine needs to address a number of issues: corruption, transparency, depoliticization of the military. This is what Romania did to be admitted to NATO. So is the Baltic States.
If Ukraine gets closer to NATO, and Romania is already an active ally of the North Atlantic bloc, can Moldova remain unaligned in the middle of these two states? Of course, it can and will succeed at it, if it remains corrupt and obscure, as it has been maintained in this state by its leaders for 30 years. It could, of course, theoretically and utopianly become a prosperous and transparent state and independent of NATO. But how can this really happen?
All its life Moldova was a state neutral in the Constitution, and in reality, it has been occupied by a foreign army. For 30 years, Moldova has been a very corrupt state. How many more decades does Moldova need to become truly neutral and sovereign?
Moldova can no longer heal itself because its citizens choose to leave rather than trust corrupt governments. And corrupt governments remain because it is their only way to escape punishment – to keep the institutions captive. At the moment, the relationship between the illegal stationing of the Russian army and the illegal stationing of the corrupt seems to be natural. The army of corrupt people is not only in the Transnistrian region, it is everywhere.
Should Moldova cooperate with Biden (NATO) or with Putin, as he keeps an army here for so long? Which of them do we like best? One is 12 centimeters taller than the other, but also 10 years older. The youngest seems to be richer than the other and is 20 years at the helm of his state, compared to the other’s half-year. But this is not a good evaluation criterion. The difference between the two is the state of the nations they lead. Russia has twice as much territory as the United States, but the United States has twice as many citizens. The number of Russian citizens who choose to live for USA is absolutely exceeded by the number of Americans who would live in Russia. Americans, on average, live longer than Russians, have higher salaries, more jobs, more freedoms. We must note exactly the same thing about NATO states: in these states life expectancy is higher than in Russia, and than in Moldova too, and the economic and social situation is incomparable.
Should Moldova struggle and choose the NATO vector? Its citizens have already chosen: most Moldovan migrants are in NATO countries, most remittances come from NATO countries, and data on Moldovan exports show the same preferences: EU and NATO states are the major destinations of our goods. Yes, allegorically speaking, the strawberries, wines, and nuts from Moldova no longer go to Moscow, Moldovans choose to sell them in Europe. It remains for the Moldovan citizens not to choose corrupt people at home.
And there’s another argument. Putin’s world is getting smaller, territorial, numerical, and temporal. A few days ago, a new anniversary of the Queen of Great Britain took place. While the world congratulated her, she was busy: she was receiving an official visit from the President of the United States. Joe Biden is the 13th incumbent American president to be greeted by Queen Elizabeth. While many other presidents wait their turn to shake Biden’s hand.
On Wednesday, in Geneva, Vladimir Putin officially met the 5th consecutive president of the USA. But in Putin’s career, it seems that the number is decreasing. Every year, fewer and fewer world leaders visit or invite him. Biden may be the last US president he meets. It’s not just about his low life expectancy, as a Russian citizen, it’s about not having anything to discuss with the leaders of prosperous states.