Maia Sandu’s speech at UN was “soft” in relation to Russia, opinion

President Maia Sandu’s speech from the central rostrum of the UN General Assembly divided political commentators into camps. Some say the President’s message was too soft in relation to Russia, while others consider Maia Sandu’s speech raised the Republic of Moldova to the level of democratic states as it centered on global problems through the angle of the experience of Moldovans, IPN reports.

Political commentator Corneliu Ciurea said Maia Sandu’s rhetoric from the UN rostrum was reconciliatory in relation to the Russian Federation. The fact that the President didn’t make reference to the UN Resolution of 2018, by which Russia was requested to withdraw its troops from Moldova’s territory, generates bewilderment.

“During the time of the Filip Government, there was adopted the UN Resolution on the necessity of withdrawing the Russian troops. It was a very good resolution even if some criticize the then regime. What is interesting is that Maia Sandu didn’t make reference to this resolution. She spoke about Article 11 on permanent neutrality. It’s good that Maia Sandu reaffirmed the position of the state, but she said it rather softly in relation to Russia. Therefore, the President’s speech generated dissatisfaction among those who want a more trenchant attitude towards Russia. The message could have been tougher,” Corneliu Ciurea stated in the talk show “Ghețu Asks” on TV8 channel.

For his part, the director of the European Institute for Political Studies Viorel Cibotaru said the President’s speech at the UN was “excellent”, noting that Russia is an unpredictable partner and the Moldovan authorities should create a peaceful atmosphere in the relations with this country.

“Maia Sandu, as no other President of the Republic of Moldova, treated the global problems, but through the way in which our citizens perceive these problems. By this speech, Maia Sandu raised the status of our country. The language she used and the focus on particular global problems are more important than the treatment of problems about which only we are concerned. As regards Russia, if there is no other soilution and negottaions with this state have to be held, it’s better to be more reserved,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.

Former PPPDA MP Vasile Năstase said that in the case of the Transnistrian dispute, it’s time to take concrete actions, like insisting on the replacement of the military forces with an internationally mandated civil mission at the talks in the 5+2 format.

“At the Istanbul Summit of 1999, there was adopted a decision on the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, but nothing has changed since then. Every year, we only reiterate the same position. We expect the new government to come up with a very clear package as to these military men, if they can be replaced with an international contingent. This is possible by relaunching the 5+2 mechanism. We must reach the situation when we will have an international contingent under the aegis of the UN,” stated Vasile Năstase.

At the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Maia Sandu reiterated the necessity of withdrawing the Russian troops from the territory of the Republic of Moldova and of disposing of the munitions stored in Cobasna, which pose a threat to regional security. 

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