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Moldavian President: "Transnistria is our territory. Russia needs to evacuate its army"

de Olga Popescu, transl/adapt. C.B.     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 5 mai 2010, 12:44 English | Top News

Temporary Moldavian President Mihai Ghimpu declared in an interview for Russian daily Kommersant why he refused to go to Moscow for the May 9 parade and summons Russia to redraw its army from Transnistria. Ghimpu also refuses the title of pro-Romanian politician, underlining that he is Romanian.

CSI leaders will gather in Moscow for an unofficial summit to mark Victory Day. President Mihai Ghimpu should have been among them. He refused the invitation. Asked by HotNews.ro to explain his decision, after Moldova's capital Chisinau hosted an unofficial CIS summit last fall, Ghimpu stated that he said he was going initially after receiving President Dmitri Medvedev's official invitation.

"Then all sort of awkward movements interfered. Defence minister received from the Russian Defence minister an invitation for 70 Moldavian troops to take part. If that was an official invitation, why wasn't it sent on the Moldavian executive's address? In my opinion, a final decision in such matters is made by the head of the state, not to the minister. First time I refused I used the difficult economic situation and the insufficient time required to calculate the spending that such a trip involves. But later, certain forces transferred the matter into politics, completely inappropriate in this case. That's why, when the Alliance for European integration decided to send to Moscow the bill for the parade I declared that if soldiers go to the parade, I will take part in the events organised in Moldova on this day", Ghimpu said.

Ghimpu also explained why he would not accompany the soldiers to Moscow: "There is the issue of the Russian army in Transnistria. What's left from the USSR. The Nistrian crisis itself could not be solved for over 20 years. In all these years, Russia talks about supporting Moldova's territorial integrity. Something does not match here: here is the Russian army and we go parade in the red Square. It does not mean we don't recognise Russian army's victory over fascism. Nobody questions this victory. Everyone is happy a regime has fallen. The rotten side of things is that after one regime, the Russian army forced another regime on us, the communist regime, which organised starvation and mass deportations".

Asked if he was personally affected, Ghimpu said he wasn't only him, but nearly every family in Moldova. He thought of marking May 9 in the country he presides over. "We've got our veterans, too", he added, mentioning he will be in Chisinau with them. "And it does not matter under which army they fought - Soviet or Romanian. There are people in Moldova that fought under both armies. We decided to decorate all of them, because those who fought first under the Romanian army, then under the Russian have made it eventually together to Berlin. Towards the end of the war, the Romanian army took the side of the Russian. There are subtleties that the Russian leadership need to realise", he stated.

Asked if it hadn't been better to go to Moscow and raise the Transnistrean issue there, Ghimpu said the problems is being discussed over 20 years now. His predecessors, the Communist party, pleased Moscow. "If Russia claims it recognises the territorial integrity, Russia should solve the problem. It all depends on Russia 99% or even 100%. Smirnov's army is equipped with Soviet armament. It's in a better shape than Moscow's army", Ghimpu believes. He was told that there are no bi-lateral meetings with Dmitri Medvedev.

According to the Moldavian President, solving Transnistria's problem entailed the evacuation of the Russian army; Russia should stop supporting Smirnov and should remove all armament from the army in Transnistria. "We put up with the pain of Prut, then the pain of Nistru. Who still needs all these? How much blood must still be shed on these lands?", he asks.

As for the relationships with Romania, Mihai Ghimpu said the ex-President Vladimir Voronin spoilt the dialogue, hoping to score points to solve the Transnistrian issue. "But he was wrong. Romania is not just a mere neighbour. We are one nation, but two states."

Asked if he was pro-Romanian and if he wanted to see Moldova integrated in Romania, Ghimpu replicated: "It's stupid. I cannot possibly be pro-Romanian because I am Romanian. Why could the Russian territorial formations unite in one state, but in these case there has to be three territorial formations? It is one nation, one language. The problem lies with the army, which came to this land in 1940". According to him, Moldavia's future target is the EU, where there are no borders. His party's programme does not speak about the unification with Romania.

Asked if he thought Moldova could join the EU easier without Transnistria, Ghimpu replied: "I don't even want to comment on this. Transnistria is our territory. Our citizens live there and we need to see this problem through!"























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