Moldova’s Historic Turning Point

Home / Comments / Moldova’s Historic Turning Point
The ruling party’s foreign mentors decided to force the Moldovan society to give up remnants of the Soviet past and finally tear Moldova away from the Russian influence
Vladimir ROTARI, RTA: This week Maia Sandu promulgated the bill banning the so-called “war symbols” including the St. George’s ribbon. Many people noticed that the government, when initiating and enforcing this very controversial ban for the public, behaved rather defiantly. This included both blatant disregard for widespread public discontent and the opposition’s views, and a demonstrative rush to get the amendments enacted before the upcoming Victory Day. It was even published in the Monitorul Oficial on Wednesday, and not Friday as usual, which also happened to coincide with the birthday of a well-known German “leader”. As if there was not enough irritating symbolism and rough edges, the country’s political leadership decided to season its actions with a series of bold statements that only sharpened the split in society and created additional problems on the international arena. Maia Sandu called the wearing of the ribbon “disgusting and criminal behavior” and defined its place in the “trash bin of history”; Mihai Popşoi called the ribbon wearers “supporters of the war in Ukraine and bombing of its cities”; Sergiu Litvinenko called on the police to penalize absolutely all violators of the new law without exception. In fact, the ruling party’s top officials have started a trivial dehumanization of all Moldovans who did not support the ban and plan to openly oppose it on May 9 and beyond. Again, this is an obvious challenge from the regime – and not only from at least half of our society. Naturally, the Russian Federation also could not ignore our leadership’s statements and actions, accusing it through its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova of “confrontational rhetoric” and threatening to retaliate. Our Foreign Ministry has already called the Russian ambassador “on the carpet” in this regard – so the diplomatic bickering continues. There reactions inside the republic are no less alarming, especially in the regions where the population with pro-Russian views predominates. In Balti, local deputies of the municipal council issued a declaration against the ban on the St. George’s ribbon, and similar “unrest” took place in Gagauzia. This story did not go unnoticed on the left bank either, where the local propaganda had time to make a big fuss about the PAS decision, and the regional leader Krasnoselsky called Maia Sandu’s words “unacceptable to the point of disgust”. To sum up. The ruling party made a completely unpopular decision that: did not bring short-term political dividends; severely damaged its already declining popularity among the centrist and leftist electorate, turning them to support other political forces; shook up the amorphous opposition, giving it fuel to start a protest movement; stirred up society and entire regions; worsened already strained relations with Moscow in the run-up to important decisions on energy imports. With no particularly positive feelings toward the ruling party or the professional and personal qualities of its representatives in power structures, I still believe that it consists not entirely of political suicides and fools. Even though there really is no shortage of “moronic” and ideologically closed-minded figures. Therefore, I do not exclude that the idea of banning the “war symbols” was not born within PAS, especially given the already difficult situation in the country with the dissatisfaction of the population with the economic and social policy, inflation, increasing tariffs, poverty, etc. It can be assumed that our foreign partners, who are now most actively courting the incumbent power and introducing their emissaries into the pool of its “advisers and consultants”, are responsible for its emergence to some extent. Obviously, not everyone in PAS shared support for the ban on the St. George’s ribbon, although on the whole the proposal fell on fertile ground, given the background and personal positions of the president and the speaker. As far as one can judge, in the understanding of our country’s Western curators now is the best moment to eliminate the remnants of the common Soviet past and to finally tear Moldova away from the Russian influence. This process has been proceeding steadily for many years, but the sharply changed geopolitical situation, coupled with the presence of an absolutely loyal local regime, makes it possible to speed it up many times over. In this sense, the ban on the St. George’s ribbon is a symbolic moment, which is why this rather harmless, at first glance, attribute was chosen as a target. I assume that the next “landmark” will be the coming May 9, where, no doubt, a show of “oppression” will be organized for all those who risk violating the ban and thus express their discontent to the ruling regime. The famous American political philosopher Francis Fukuyama once rushed to declare “the end of history” after the collapse of the USSR, which, in his opinion, marked the irrevocable triumph of the Western system. It seems they are trying to arrange something similar in Moldova now, thinking that after the electoral cycles in 2020-2021, we will have “the end of history” with the final victory of the “pro-European forces of good” over the “pro-Russian forces of evil”. Probably that's why we can see the historical break of Moldova offered by the West and obediently fulfilled by the ruling party after which it must take its due modest place on one of the sides of geopolitical barricades being erected right now. And this process, frankly, seems almost irreversible at this point.