Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Russia is afraid of Ghimpu

The Russian government and its avatars in Moldova are kicking up a huge fuss about Mihai Ghimpu's unionism. There's silly talk of fascism, destruction of the state and even civil war.

In fact, Ghimpu's unionism doesn't present any peril, for two reasons:

1. Unification isn't going to happen any time soon. It would require constitutional changes and the preparation of public opinion on both sides of the Prut, as well as the approval of major international players. Furthermore, unification isn't on the agenda of either the AIE or even the Liberal Party.

2. Were unification to happen, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for either Russia or for Moldova's Russian-speaking population. The latter would gain EU citizenship and the accompanying travel freedoms. They would be able to export their goods and services freely to other EU states. Potentially Russian could be made an official language within the EU and on Moldovan territory. finally, the main bone of contention poisoning Russia-Romania relations would be removed.

I believe the main reason Ghimpu is coming under attack isn't his unionism, but his liberalism. He is a true believer in the rights and freedoms of the individual, in government which is of, for and by the people.

Despite Russia's best efforts, democracy is slowly gaining ground in Eastern Europe, albeit using a 'two steps forward, one step back approach. Ukraine and Georgia have been in the lead, but now they are joined by a newly democratic Moldova, adding a further point from which the contagions of democracy and liberalism could spread into Russia.

And that is Vladimir Putin's worst nightmare.

No comments:

Post a Comment