Monday, May 31, 2010

Almost Friendless

Well, it's been and gone - the annual dose of silliness known as the Eurovision song contest.  Romania did well off the back of Paula Seling's amazing voice and that funny piano of theirs.  Denmark did quite well on the back of Abba nostalgia and Turkey (refreshingly & unexpectedly) gave us a dose of hard rock.  I won't even mention Armenia's apricots...


In the end, however, it was the cute German girl in the little black dress who stole the big prize.  In some ways it was a surprising victory - she had no stage show to speak of and a catchy, but not exceptional tune.  On the other hand, she had the cheek to stand up by herself and pull it off with a superb and frisky individual performance (strange cockney accent notwithstanding).

Moldova gave a worthy performance, but finished near the tail of the field.  As ever, I'm interested in the geopolitics of the thing.  Moldova gave its biggest points to its nearest and theoretically most important partners - Romania, Russia and Ukraine.  Out of friendship, Romania gave Moldova 10 points, and I think would have given 12 for a stronger act.

What is really notable is that Russia and Ukraine didn't give Moldova a single point.  This should give the Moldovan left pause to think.  In reality Russia and Ukraine don't give a toss about Moldova and cannot be considered friends of the country.  Their only interest in Moldova is in ripping off chunks of territory and absconding with valuable assets.  Beyond that, nothing.  This is a message that needs to get to the electorate loud and clear.

Why then, does Moldova faun over its eastern neighbours, trying to obtain "strategic partnerships"?  Why do Moldovan politicians make repeated pilgrimages to Moscow and Kiev?  Why do Moldovan citizens watch Russian TV channels?  And why does Moldova give them the big points at Eurovision?  It's actually a big distraction and a huge waste of effort.

Moldova needs to cultivate other friendships.  I'm thinking that Boris Focsa could negotiate a Eurovision point-swapping treaty with the poor old Brits, who came an ignominious last in the contest due to their out-of-tune singing.  Fellow latin countries such as Italy and France should also be natural supporters, but are conspicuously absent.  Relations with other countries who have similar histories, e.g. Georgia, Azerbaidjan and the, er, Home of the Apricots, could also be shored up

So there you go.  If Eurovision fails to reorient Moldova's foreign policy from East to West, then I'm out of ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment