President Basescu of Romania is these days abandoning diplomatic obfuscation in favour of plain speaking. His most recent declarations have caused both the Moldovan regime and their Russian backers to get their knickers completely twisted. The reason? He told the truth.
The Russian worldview is based on an intricate mix of propaganda and spin. For example, take the myths surrounding the Great Patriotic War. I am the first to recognise the monumental effort and sacrifice put in by the Soviet Union in defeating Hitler, however the Soviet war myths demean the contribution of other nations and overlook the Soviet Unions own considerable failings in the conduct of the war. An example of the former include North American and Australasian participation in the European theater when they could have easily focussed on the war in the Pacific. An example of the latter would be the Soviet Union's disgraceful late entry into the war, leaving Britain to stand alone against German aggression.
The problem with a propaganda based world-view is that it is very easily damaged by the truth. When I put my observations on the Great Patriotic War to my Russian friends, I get the human equivalent of an 'Unrecoverable Application Error'. It just doesn't compute.
That's what Basescu has just done. He has pointed out that Russia will never leave Transnistria of its own volition. With this one clear statement of truth he has destroyed much of the power that Russia has over Moldova. For 20 years Russia has extracted concession after concession from Moldova in return for vague expressions of intent about resolving the conflict and reintegrating the country. If that's not actually a prospect, then all the concessions made should now be retracted, the negotiation 'industry' dismantled and the Moldovan government re-focussed on the economic & political development of the Nistru's right bank.
Similarly, by referring to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Basescu has brought into the open the modern-day imperialism of the Russian Federation, together with the acquiescence of Russia's friends in Germany and other parts of Western Europe. The underlying subject - recognition of borders - is a non-issue. Romania already recognises the borders of Moldova due to a post-war treaty signed with the Soviet Union. The only reason Voronin wants a treaty is to embarass Romania and bost his ratings in Moscow and among his electorate in Moldova.
As I stated in a previous blog, Romania is Moldova's only true friends. Basescu's leadership in bringing democracy back to Moldova proves this once again.