Some time ago, three people established what they called “the Community of Moldovans in Romania”. This weekend, their organization was brought to light by no other than Vladimir Voronin, the President of the Moldovan Republic, who in an interview for a press agency demanded rights for the “Moldovan minority” in Romania, which he claims numbers some 10 million people.

Romania, which is formed of several historical provinces including Moldavia, neighbored by the ex-Soviet Moldovan Republic in the East, is a country of about 22-23 million people, many of them representatives of national minorities such as ethnic Hungarians.

In an interview or the Moldpres state agency last weekend the Moldovan Republic’s pro-Russia Communist leader Vladimir Voronin relaunched the claims - long linked to Kremlin policy labs - that the Moldovan people is different from Romanians.

But he went further than before this time as he said Romania numbered some 10 million “ethnic Moldovans” whose rights as a minority are not recognized at all. “Unfortunately in Romania the list of allowed ethnic groups is strictly limited, all possible national minorities are named in its legislation.

“Moldovans are not included among them. And this, as long as I understand, is the main obstacle for legalizing Moldovans and their culture in Romania today”, Voronin said.

And he spoke of the courage of those who established the Community of Moldovans in Romania, an association that became operational in January this year when it was approved by a court in Iasi, NE Romania.

While Iasi prosecutors appealed against the court decision, the three Romanian citizens who established the association were welcomed in the Parliament in Chisinau, Moldovan Republic as heroes last weekend.

Voronin’s statements come as relations between Romania and the Moldovan Republic have come to a historic law as the pro-Russia administration in Chisinau refused Romania’s offer of support in the process of forging closer relations with the EU repeatedly.

The tensions come as as the number of Romanian citizenship requests in the Moldovan Republic has been rising exponentially as Romania joined the EU on January 1, 2007.