The statement of the US Ambassador in Moldova, James Pettit, referring to the fact that "Moldova is not Romania" sparked a series of reactions from officials and civil society, both supportive and critical.
In an interview for the TV channel Moldova 1, offered on the occasion of the 25 years of independence, the US Ambassador stated: "Moldova must remain a sovereign and independent state within secure borders. Joining Romania for example, as a way to enter the EU or for any other reason, is not a practical choice and not a choice that will make things better here in Moldova. What will make things better here in Moldova is the cooperation between the political class and the people of Moldova for all of them to contribute to a better country for Moldovans. Moldova is not Romania, Moldova has its own history and its own challenges, among which is the fact that Moldova is a multiethnic country with people who speak different languages and of course, there is the issue of Transnistria, which is not even under the control of the central government, but which needs a special status, but a special status within Moldova. "
This statement sparked a series of reactions, mostly critical, from politicians on both sides of the Prut.
Mihai Ghimpu, PL leader: "I acknowledge stunned and with regre the statements made by His Excellency, Ambassador of the USA in Moldova, where he spoke about relations between the two sides of the Prut. In connection with these statements, I have to make the following clarifications.
It is deeply regrettable that His Excellency makes statements which not only harms Moldova's sovereignty and the right of citizens to decide their own destiny, but we bring in memory of Russian imperial diplomacy strategy which, through Ambassador Kuzmin, infamous, intervene in issues of identity in Moldova, saying what textbooks we should use, what language we speak and generally how to identify us as a nation. As a former interim president of Moldova, who signed with the Romanian president the Declaration on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Romania and Moldova for the European integration of Moldova, i say firmly, that Moldova has no chance for modernization, development and European integration without the mother country, Romania. Moldova's European path is passing through Bucharest! Ambassador declarations are even more questionable, especially since they come in the context of the presidential election in Moldova. It is unfortunate and unfair from an ambassador to suggest to political candidates what identity project they should take.
As for me, with all due respect to Ambassador James Pettit, the State Department or the American people that he represents in Moldova, I said, I will say and say with conviction as my grandparents, parents and my brothers taught me, Moldova IS Romania because we speak the same language, have the same identity and Romania was represented by Moldova and Muntenia, which later joined Bessarabia bottom of Moldova and Transylvania, which was under Russian and Austria-Hungary occupation."
Igor Dodon, PSRM president "Why a logical and correct declaration of a Western ambassador aroused so many hysterical reactions among politicians and pro-Romanian commentators and unionists?
What did the US ambassador and other ambassadors had to say, that Moldova is Romanian land and part of Romania? Unionists from our country went totally crazy. I remind you that Moldova is a sovereign and independent state, UN member recognized worldwide. And I wish that every ambassador of our country would point out this fact in his statements, noted and accepted by the way by the Romanian Ambassador in Moldova at the meeting that I had with him. If we come to be criticized for the fact that we believe and declare our sovereign state, independent and separate from the others, it means that the unionism joke has thickened with us. I return to the thesis that unionism must be against the law because it causes the destruction and disappearance of Moldovan statehood and identity. Unionism is outside and against the Constitution. "
Traian Basescu, former president of Romania, "US Ambassador James Pettit, a trumpet of Moscow?
US Ambassador in Chisinau, James Pettit, gave similar theories to those of Stalin and Putin's propaganda loved making, giving valuable services to Moscow, giving a heavy blow to historical realities and mystification claiming Romanian history, saying:
- "Moldova is not Romania";
- "Moldova has its own history";
- "The addition of Romania is not a practical choice is not a choice that will make things better in Moldova";
- "It is important to recognize Moldovans to be Moldovan, a particular nation";
- "Moldova, multiethnic country";
- "Transnistria should have a special status";
- I learned from James Pettit that we speak different languages.
In other words, US Ambassador in Chisinau reinforces the theory promoted by Stalin and until today by Putin, ignoring the history of Romania. The big question is whether Ambassador James Pettit expressed official US view point! Or, simply reflected the words about the space in which he fulfills his mission. I do not know if James Pettit express the views of the US, but the ambassador has just managed to enshroud at least one layer of confusion and maybe the mistrust of Romania in the US. Statement by Ambassador James Pettit is actually an affront brought to Romanian History. A Romanian official reaction and clarifying the relationship with the US is mandatory. "
Ion Sturza, ex-prime minister of Moldova: "Dear US Ambassador James Pettit, it is too much ... I'm shocked. Once we have "stabilized", throwing us into the arms of the corrupt oligarchy, you give us lessons of identity ?! That was said only our "friends" in the east. Let us, citizens of Moldova, to decide who we are, what language we speak, and who we are friend with. For that our forefathers fought and were taken to Gulag. If you want an iron curtain between Moldova and Romania, you can make it from American trucks, old an age, in the "corral of independence" from Chisinau. As a "green zone" of stability. As in "democracies" in Africa and Latin America. It is commendable that you learn our language, but also study our history. After we talk. I invite you to a public debate. If the State Department position needs to be clarified. Frustrating...".
Reactions of the officials were posted on their facebook page. Reactions also came from LDP deputies, Maria Ciobanu and Vadim Pistrinciuc; DP deputy, Dumitru Diacov; Romanian Senator Viorel Badea; ex-deputy Vlad Cubreacov; independent deputy Valeriu Ghileţchi; NATO Secretary; Romanian Foreign Minister and others.
Also, many citizens began collecting signatures for an online petition, urging the expulsion of US Ambassador in Chisinau, James Pettit. The authors of the petition mentions that "to say that Moldova is not Romania is a fake historic oath at all Romanians. Mr. Ambassador James Pettit must leave Moldova until the end of his term. "
Following criticism on Pettit's statement, the US Embassy in Chisinau has come up with a response, saying for unimedia.info following: "The United States supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova - this is a long-standing US policy. United States remains a partner in the economic and democratic development of Moldova and supports the desire for integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. "
However, according to independent.md Unionist Platform Action 2012 will organize tomorrow a protest in Bucharest to Pettit's statements concerning the identity of the population over the Prut. According to organizers of the action, they will bring the US diplomat, Romanian history books. The protest in Bucharest will take place at the same time as the street demonstration in Chisinau in front of the US embassy in Moldova. Protesters will demand urgent withdrawal of James D. Pettit from his position as representative of American diplomacy in Chisinau.
I as an American am stunned by this statement by our US Envoy Pettit. Most assuredly Moldova is a sovereign country which can decide by itself whether to remain independent or to unite with another country. Mr. Pettit's statement reveals little knowledge of Moldovan history. Moldova has only recently gained its independence, having at times belonged to the Ottoman Empire, Imperial Russia, Romania, the Soviet Union until it finally gained its independence in 1991. It was immediately beset by a well-armed Russian insurrection which resulted in the current stalemate along the Dniester river. Yes, Moldova is a multi-ethnic country, but so what. So are Romania and most other countries in the region. While Russian meddling and interference in Moldova goes on unabated, America hectors the Moldovans to clean up their government while providing little else than finger-wagging "moral" support. This Russian meddling culminated in the theft of $1 billion from several Moldovan banks. Rather than allow Moldova to twist in the wind and further into the Russian sphere of influence, we should put our money where our mouths are and help the Moldovans modernize. Absent such concrete assistance, it is understandable that ethnic Romanian Moldovans view reunification with Romania as their only hope of ever entering the safe harbor of EU and NATO membership.