(Comment) Federalization of Moldova – between relationships and speculations

A possible federalization of Moldova has been discussed more and more intensively lately, being promoted the idea that thus the Transdniestrian problem will be resolved. Opposition representatives, analysts and certain journalists seem to be especially manifesting declarations on the subject. Some try to promote federalization as the optimal and unique solution for acceptable for the problem regulation, others, on the contrary, come with accusations to the officials, insisting that federalization contradicts the national interests. And on this background, which is getting more and more intense every day, the participants of the negotiation format “5+2” are keeping silence – nobody is confirming or denying these declarations, and that only supports the rather big suspicions.

Where do these affirmations come from? A careful analysis of the situation in the respective domain proves that the discussion on the eventual federalization of Moldova occur either before or immediately after Vlad Filat’s meetings with the leader of Tirasol, Evgheni Sevciuk. Not before or after the official negotiations in the 5+2 format, not before or after the informal reunions, but namely in case of Vlad Filat and Evgheni Shevciuk’s meetings. Even if these meetings of theirs mostly occur within the events organized by the participants at the 5+2 negotiations, the two still find possibilities to discuss the matter in private. And the good relationships they have managed to establish as well as the certain results that follow every meeting of this kind, determines many to go looking for the unseen part of the iceberg. Despite the fact that both, Filat and Sevciuc are trying to have a good communication with the press, to offer the details of their meetings, the suspicions are still there. And this can be understood, as one year ago the relationship between Chisinau and Tiraspol were completely frozen. And the earlier contacts were formal, and followed every time by scandals and confrontations. Obviously the present «friendship” between the two, provoke questions like: What are they up to?

An extra reason for suspicions comes from the opposite positions of Chisinau and Tiraspol as to how the conflict should be regulated. Even if Vlad Filat and Evgheni Sevciuc avoid to reveal the political part of the regulation, nobody has annulled the position set at a high level of Chisinau Tiraspol. Thus, while the Parliament of Chisinau adopted in July, 2005, the Law regarding the basic principles of the conflict regulation, which provides a statute of large autonomy for Transdniestria within Moldova, in September, 2006 there was a referendum on the left side of Dniester, where some pleaded for the independence of Transnistria. Naturally, the ones who are discussing federalization wonder: if Chisinau proposes an autonomy statute, and Tiraspol desires independence, which could the gold be? Logic: federalization seems to be a compromise solution between the statute of autonomy and the one of independent state of Transdniestria.

Suspicions are also supported by the evident increase of the role of Germany in the regulation of the Transdniestrian conflict. It is spoken more and more often of a secret agreement between Angela Merkel and Dmitri Medvedev regarding the Transndiestrian conflict regulation through the federalization of Moldova. All the more Russia and Germany are federative states and are well familiar with this model of state organization. In case of Germany, there is also the experience of reunification of the country after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In other words, Germany in its time was a divided state, too, and now, after the reintegration, the Germans have managed to develop the country being a federation, to bring it to the statute of a great power of Europe and of the world. The announcement of the federal Chancellor’s arrival in Moldova in the nearest future has added suspicions.

From a certain point of view, all the fuss around the eventual federalization of Moldova can be understood. The term “federalization” itself is a compromised and a demonized one in Moldova after the sad experience of 2003 when Chisinau was proposed the sadly-known Kozak Memorandum. That document really provided a dangerous formula of federalization, offering to Transdniestria and Gagauzia a number of seats in the power body of Chisinau (which allowed them, joining the political pro-Russian forces to have a constant pro-east majority).  Besides, Transdniestria would obtain the veto right in foreign policy (which would put an end to any attempt of Moldova get closer to European integration). That is why, now that they are speaking of federalization, it is logic for the political forces, journalists, and pro-West analysts, are thinking in the first place of the Memorandum which would block the country’s development on its way to European integration. On the contrary, the pro-East forces, are insisting on the federalization, perceiving it as salvation for them, through the Kozak Memorandum. None of the parts perceives it could be another kind of federation this time.

The tactic chosen by Vlad Filat and Evgheni Shevciuk and supported by all the participants in the process of Transdniestrian conflict regulation is the only one correct in our situation. Only by consolidating the trust and solving the certain social and economic problems, the people on both sides of Dniester are facing, we can create the basis for Transdniestrian problem regulation.

It is not excluded that when the solution for the Transdniestrian problem will be discussed, the federative model will also be presented. But this will happen only in years. At this stage the discussions of the future statute of Transdniestria, would be an act of political suicide, which only politicians lacking clairvoyance could perform. Vlad Filat, Evgheni Sevciuc and all the other participants in the Transdniestrian conflict regulation.

The opposition, the press and the analysts can be understood, too. Everybody is doing his business based on the interests they have at the moment – some look for supporters, others – for subjects to get seen. Eventually these discussions will even be regarded as useful. They help take the society’s pulse in an extremely important problem and make the decision factors treat with maximum responsibility a process the future of the country depends on.

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