Thursday, August 6, 2009

Europe the Naive

President Traian Basescu's admission that he and other European leaders assisted in the election of Vladimir Voronin in 2005 shows the continuing naivety of Europe in dealing with KGB manipulation. Let me explain:

First, consider a little recent history. Voronin, a former Soviet militia general and an avowed Rusofone, comes to power in 2001 on promises to (a) make the Russian langauge official and (b) take Moldova into a political union with Russia and Belarus. These plans get overturned when, under US pressure in 2003, Voronin refuses to sign the Kozak memorandum which would have reintegrated Transnistria, but at the cost of Moldova becoming a Russian vassal state. Russia bans all exports from Moldova and starts messing with the gas supply in response. Voronin has no choice but to turn to Romania and the European Union for support, and reorient his foreign policy westwards (even though this goes against every fibre in his body and cramps his totalitarian style).

In the 2005 election, the communists (through fraud) achieve a simple parliamentary majority, but don't have enough votes to elect a president. The Moldovan press is full of reports that the main opposition grouping (Democratic Moldova, led by Serafim Urechean) has fallen under Russian tutelage. The balance of power is held by the small Christian Democratic party. led by Iurie Rosca. Rosca is well-known as one of the leaders of the "Romanian Nationalist" movement that led to Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

In Basescu's mind, he and other European leaders saved Moldova from Russian domination in 2005 by convincing the "Romanian Nationalist" Rosca to vote for the presidency of the "Pro-European" Voronin and keep the "Pro-Russian" Urechean out of power.

During the term of the 2005 - 2009 parliament, complaints by Urechean's grouping about the increasing totalitarianism of the communists would fall on deaf European ears. They preferred to take the word of their trusted opposition leader, Rosca, over that of known Russian sympathiser Urechean. Rosca would assure them that everything was OK and Voronin was basically doing a good job.

This continued right up until the April 5th elections, with Europe even being prepared to turn a blind eye to massive electoral fraud so that the "pro-European" Voronin could remain in power.

It was the brutality of April 7th to 9th that finally caused parts of the European establishment (notably the Romanian government and the Liberal Democrat faction in the EP) to wake up. Ferrero-Waldner and Miszei, however, continued to push the opposition to accept the results of the election and dialog with the communists.

The truth of the matter is that Voronin was never 'pro-European' and that Rosca was and is a deep-sleeping KGB agent sent in to the nationalist movement in order to pervert its aims over the long term. What happened in 2005 wasn't Basescu convincing Rosca, but Rosca making a fool out of Basescu and the EU.

Urechean never was "Pro-Russian", although it is true that he has a milder approach to relations with Russia than either Filat or Ghimpu. It would be best to characterise this as pragmatism rather than servitude.

One can only hope that Europe has now finally woken up to the realities of the situation in Moldova.

1 comment:

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