Friday, July 5, 2013

14: Romanian Unification

Graffiti in Moldova tends to be very political. In this case it says, "Moldovans therefore Romanians."

Moldova has at different points in its history been an independent country, a part of Romania, and a part of the Soviet Union. And even though it has held its status as an independent state for the last 20 years there is still much discussion that continues even today as to whether it is best for Moldova to be independent or if it would be better for Moldova to rejoin Romania or form some sort of integration with Russia. 

For those who like being an independent state they would point out that while Moldovans may be ethnically tied to Romanians they are very different in their form of spoken language and regional culture and if they were join with Romania they would lose that sense of cultural identity. Also Moldova would become just a small part of Romania and it is thought that they would be less likely to be as responsive to their concerns as Moldovan elected officials.

Those who want unification usually point out that Moldova was a part of Romania before it was forcefully taken by Russia during WWII and turned into a Soviet Republic. Joining with Romania would mean becoming a part of the European Union, as Romania has already joined, and being a part of a country that has a larger population and larger prominence on the world stage.

Lastly, are those that would push for unification with Russia as a means of improving Moldova's standard of living, over joining with Romania. In general those who push for Russian unification or partnership are usually ethnically not Moldova, either Russian, Ukrainian, or Gagauzian, and don't want to unify with Romania based mainly on the recognition of the use of their native language by the Moldovan government that they might not be granted if they were apart of Romania. In fact it was this fear of unification with Romania after Moldova declared its independence that the region of Transnistria which is mostly composed of Russian speakers broke away from Moldova and even to this day operates its own unrecognized government. 

Moldova has another region called Gagauzia that is slightly autonomous and operates its own government but with the recognition of the Moldovan Government. Gagauzia is located in the south of Moldova and the inhabitants of the region are most closely related to Turks than they are to Romanians and speak a language that is very similar to Turkish.

The red colored area is Gagauzia. Also the dotted line signifies the boundary of the breakaway region of Transnistria.

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