On September 21-23, Maia Sandu participated in the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States, where the most acute problems of humanity were discussed: the pandemic, global warming, democracy and authoritarianism, peace and war, energy security, cooperation and stability in the world. In his speech, White House leader Joe Biden concluded that there is too much conflict and too little cooperation.
On Tuesday, Maia Sandu had several bilateral meetings, including with António Guterres, UN Secretary General, and on Wednesday she gave a speech in plenary on the challenges Moldova and the countries in the region are facing.
A more special detail related to this travel to New York and which became known on the website of the Polish presidency is that in New York the President of Moldova also met, in a separate meeting, with Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, with Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and with the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. It is curious that in this equation there is no president of Romania Klaus Iohannis, with whose participation, 30 years after the proclamation of Independence, the quadrilateral Moldova-Poland-Romania – Ukraine was created in Chișinău on August 28, a new platform for regional cooperation on the full spectrum of issues, including security and collective defense.
The fact that Georgia acts in the format of the four is not a problem (Georgia is also a member of the Eastern Partnership, as well as Moldova and Ukraine, with the same problems with Moscow). The question is why Romania, the most relevant lawyer of Moldova in the world, was left out of the meeting? Should Kyiv be the reason again? Or maybe Kyiv sharks from the western Ukrainian exile? Romania has had a similar experience. In the 1990s, in order to join NATO, Romania (conditioned from the outside) had to accept in the Political Treaty with Ukraine (1997) the exclusion of the slightest allusions to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.
Ion Iliescu, with all his drawbacks, refused to do so and was replaced by Emil Constantinescu, who, for the sake of his mandate, sacrificed Southern Basarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Land of Herța. Romania did become a member of NATO and the EU, but at what cost?
After the signing of the Treaty, Ukraine became even more unbearable in relation to minorities, a prison state with racist ideologies in relation to minorities. “Ukraine without minorities” has been the fundamental ideology of building the Ukrainian state. It was like that in Kravciuk’s time, and it is the same with Zelensky. What is the point, then, and why was the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact condemned in the European Parliament, if its consequences remain unresolved to this day in Zelensky’s Ukraine? The Romanian community in Ukraine, regardless of areas, South or North, is exterminated every day. Schools are closed or Ukrainianized, the population is forcibly Ukrainianized, Romanian homonymy and toponymy are also Ukrainianized, the Romanian language is persecuted and banned in schools and public space, the public relations with Romania are sanctioned as a diversion against the Ukrainian state. All this as a consequence of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.
Is it possible otherwise? After Russia annexed Crimea and occupied the Donbas, Kyiv is looking for friends. Ukraine no longer wants Moldova or Romania just as neighbors. Ukraine wants them as friends. Both Chișinău and Bucharest should take this into account, although it is very difficult to trust Ukraine, which, in its friendly relations with us, has always been a friend of interest. Until 2014, in Ukraine’s relations with Moldova, it speculated on its status as a mediator in the Transnistrian issue and stripped us of over 500 meters of coastline on the Danube, in the Giurgiulești area (strategic point), 8 km from the Palanca highway (another strategic point), over 30 km of the Etulia-Reni railway section, several properties on the Black Sea, the share in Novodnestrovsk, a number of island areas on the Nistru River. The fact that we mention all these does not mean that we do not want relations with Ukraine. But we want them to be different, with other persons in the Government and Ministry of External Affairs, persons who will be well informed, independent, and dedicated.
After the 2020 presidential elections, Chișinău entered the area of greatest interest for Kyiv. Maia Sandu had not yet recovered from electoral emotions, and in Kyiv, Zelensky was “looking forward to meeting the new president of Moldova” …, who has “a much clearer position on Crimea and Ukraine.” It is difficult to say whether Kyiv’s interest in Moldova is exclusively related to the Crimean issue since in their bilateral relations there are several unresolved issues. One way or another, Kyiv’s interest remains high.
Maia Sandu took office on December 24, and on January 11, she already departed for her first external visit to Kyiv. On August 23, she participated in the Crimean Platform summit, a project in which Kyiv wanted to have Chișinău on its side. And they had it … Whether as a reward or not, but Sandu returned from Kyiv with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, first degree.
We are going to see what will follow and how the Kyiv-Chișinău relations will improve. But Romania must not be absent from these relations. Nor should the Romanian community in Ukraine be absent… It is not excluded that Kyiv will try to court, politically, Maia Sandu. Ten years ago they wooed Vlad Filat, Iurie Leancă, and Andrei Popov, and we were about to move Palanca and the port of Giurgiulești.