Igor Boțan: Given relations between Ukraine and Russia, Moldova has no other solution than to choose European integration

The authorities and citizens of the Republic of Moldova should take into account the development of the Moldovan-Ukrainian and Moldovan-Russian relations and should not forget the lessons of history that showed what the Russia World means for Ukraine and also for Moldova, the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. “We see how the so-called Russian World looks like based on the example involving Ukraine and, in general, based on history. We see how the Russian Federation easily flouts the international commitments if it considers this is suitable for it. Moldova, being a small state, the Republic of Moldova does not have another solution than to insist on the observance of the international agreements, including the bilateral ones, and to join the EU,” said the expert.

Asked how the Moldovan-Russian relations up to present can be described, Igor Boțan said these are relations between Moscow’s pretensions to be an imperial center and a province that should be faithful to this center. There are a number of documents and statements that impact the Moldovan-Russian relations, like
Vladimir Putin’s statement about the presents made by Russia to the former republics that should be now taken back and the State Duma’s assertion that Russia should gain back all the lost territories.

The expert noted the Moldovan-Ukrainian relations are very specific and they improved considerably following the EU’s intervention, following the signing of the Action Plans with the EU by Moldova and Ukraine within the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 2005. A new stage of the bilateral relations started then. Both of the states declared that the European intention is their goal. It’s true that Moldova insisted on the European integration, while Ukraine on the Euro-Atlantic integration. The GUUAM Summit was later held in Chisinau, in April 2005, where the President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko proposed solving the Transnistrian dispute according to Ukraine’s viewpoint that was radically different from the previous attitudes. The bilateral relations are now set down in international documents and this is what matters the most. Invoking the history to break these documents is the worst that can happen today.

In particular, Igor Boțan mentioned Russia mistaken view about the regions of Ukraine. The Russian leader tells the Ukrainians that Ukraine was created by Bolsheviks. However, after the abdication of Tsar Nicolas III of Russia, the Rada from Kyiv created the autonomous Ukraine and decided not to declare independence earlier than the Constituent Assembly. But a coup was mounted on November 7 and things worsened and the independence of Ukraine was declared. The Brest peace and many other events followed. The Ukrainians showed they have national consciousness. They held a referendum and this showed that 90% of the Ukrainians are for the independence of Ukraine. There was an absolute majority even in Crimea as 54% of the people there voted for the independence of Ukraine, with the figure in Donbas and Luhansk standing at over 80%. At the moment, the quality of the Russian-Ukrainian relations is affected by one of the terrorists who started the war.

The public debate entitled “Moldovan-Ukrainian and Moldovan-Russian relations in time and before the war between the two states?” was the 245th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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