Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Klimenko breaks the law?

Valerii Klimenko is a Moldovan citizen who is leader of the 'Equal Rights' movement. This political party is one of Russia's avatars in the republic of Moldova, and is occasionally called on to make statements which it would not be appropriate for Russia to make directly. Here is what Mr Klimenko said earlier today:

"We know that Mihai Ghimpu will push for the unification of Moldavia and Romania, for leaving the CIS and for joining NATO. We, the national minorities, disagree with this and will do our best to stop it. If Moldovans will not defend the sovereignty and statehood of Moldova, we will ask for help from abroad, including from the Russian Federation. Such help may be of any kind, including military."

First of all, neither Mihai Ghimpu, nor the liberals nor the AIE has announced that they will push for joining NATO or reunifying with Romania. Both of these issues would require constitutional amendments and be subject to a referendum. Leaving the CIS, however, would be within the remit of Parliament, as it is not a military / security body and hence does not impact on Moldova's sovereignty or neutrality.

So, to paraphrase, Klimenko is saying that he would support a Russian invasion of Moldova in the event that Moldova leaves the CIS. Such an invasion would have the intent of removing from power the democratically and constitutionally elected representatives of the Moldovan people.

He should take a look at Moldova's penal code. Article 341 states that it is an offence to call for the violent overthrow of constitutional order or for the violation of Moldova's territorial integrity. If this is done through the engagement of a foreign organisation, then the offence is punishable by a minimum of eight years imprisonment.

Mr Klimenko has a case to answer, and I hope that he will be brought to account by the new General Prosecutor.

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