Moldovais against independence for Kosovo, Transdniestria, Abkhazia and almostevery other freedom-seeking state in the world. At the same time,President Vladimir Voronin also said that if Kosovo should neverthelessbecome independent, it would not be an example that Transdniestriacould follow. This is at odds with Russia's position that Kosovoindependence will set a legally valid precedent under international law.
CHISINAU (Tiraspol Times) - The Republic of Moldova came outpublicly against independence for Kosovo, Transdniestria and a numberof other freedom-seeking states in a TV interview with Moldovanstrongman Vladimir Voronin on Saturday.
" - Moldova fully supports Russia's position on Kosovo," said Voronin, speaking on Moldovan television.
" - Russia's position on Kosovo is correct. Moldova fully supportsit - not because we have the Transnistrian problem, but because,without it, we better understand this situation," added Voronin,drawing an immediate parallel because the Serbian province that hassought independence since 1999 and the area between Moldova and Ukrainewhich has been "de facto" independent since 1990.
As reported by news agency Itar-Tass, Voronin believes thatany future recognition of Kosovo's independence would have a negativeimpact on other European countries. Moldova keeps wanting to controlTransdniestria (officially Pridnestrovie) which now enters itseighteenth year in freedom. In 1992, Moldovan military attacked theunrecognized country in a war which left over 1,000 people dead, butwas fought back and was unable to establish any sovereignty.
Moldova'sPresident Vladimir Voronin, whose family is ranked as the richest inthe country, says that his country is officially against freedom forboth Transdniestria and Kosovo, as well as others who want to exercisetheir right to democratic self-determination.
Moldova is today Europe's poorest country. Vladimir Voronin, head ofthe Communist Party and a former Soviet general, has been accused ofpersonal corruption and grave human rights violations by Westernorganizations. His personal family is known as the richest family inMoldova, despite the dire economic situation in the country which holdsthe European record in human trafficking.
- Disagreement with Russia over precedence-setting
Unlike Russia, which has frequently stated that Kosovo independencewill set a precedent, Vladimir Voronin says that Kosovo will not set anexample that others can follow.
In his TV interview, Voronin stated that he believes that even inthe case of any possibly future recognition of Kosovo's independence,Transdniestria will still have no reason to claim independence.
" - States are formed on the territorial principle, and not on ethnicity affiliation," claimed Voronin.
When Moldova itself declared independence, however, it did so byinvoking sovereignty over its "ethnic and historical territory,"according to its unilateral declaration of independence.
Ethnically, Transdniestria is majority Slavic and Moldovans make upless than a third of the population, unlike in Moldova itself wherethey form an absolute majority of close to eighty percent.
Historically, Transdniestria has never been a traditional part ofMoldova. Like Moldova for part of its existence, Transdniestria waspart of the Soviet Union. Until 1940, it was an autonomous republicwith Tiraspol as its capital. Starting in 1940, Stalin added Moldova tothe Soviet Union, upgraded the status of the territory to unionrepublic, and moved the capital to Chisinau - all against the will ofthe Moldovan people. Moldova later declared Stalin's acts null and void.
Transdniestria declared independence in 1990, one year beforeMoldova, and has never been part of any independent Moldovan state.Prior to incorporation in the Soviet Union, Moldova belonged toRomania. Transdniestria has also never been part of Romania.
- Against freedom for everyone else except Moldova
Apart from being against independence for Kosovo and Transdniestria,Moldova has also publicly declared its opposition to independence forAbkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh and a number of otherfreedom-seeking areas throughout the world.
" - It seems that Moldova only wants freedom for Moldova. They coulddeclare their independence unilaterally, against the wish of anexisting country," says Petru Gladchi, a pro-democracy activist inTiraspol.
" - When Moldova declared independence on their own, they didn't askfor anyone's permission. In the process, they violated the territorialintegrity of a country which had signed the Helsinki Final Act on theinviolability of borders," said Petru in commentary Sunday. "Why was itOK for them to do it, but now they won't let others act the same way?"
The President of Transdniestria, Igor Smirnov, has repeatedly madeit clear that his country deserves to get international recognition ofits independence before Kosovo, and that it has stronger legal andhistorical grounds for independence than the Serbian-owned province.