About the Romanians from Bassarabia trying to enter Romania - week'toriAl43

This is not easy. I am trying to figure out how to put it.

See, about more than 60 years ago there was a painful split. Bassarabia became a part of the USSR. And Bassarabia is a land historically inhabited mostly by Romanians. Even after 200 years of Russian and Soviet domination, their percentage is higher than 80%. Bassarabia was part of Romania until 1812, than part of the Russian Empire until 1918. Than again part of Romania until 1945, and from 1945 to 1990 part of the Soviet Empire - the USSR. Soviet propaganda told them they were Moldavians, different and better than Romanians. The bad luck of Bassarabia was that it was the most eastern part of Romania, closest to Moscow. Any Romanian land situated in the east would have sustained the very same fate.

In 2009, after 45 years of Soviet rule and almost 20 years of (very) difficult transition, the youth living in what was left out of what was formerly known as Bassarabia decided it was time to go to Europe. And time to go to Romania, their homeland. The convention signed last month allows it, within a range of 50 kilometers from the border.

I am speaking about the convention concerning free border traffic between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, signed a few weeks ago. It should, in theory, allow more than a million inhabitants of Bassarabia to enter the Romanian territory.

And here is where our bureaucracy comes in. Our consular authorities only manage to solve an insignificant number of requests per day, while hundreds of thousands of requests are already made. Even more, in order to enter the Romanian territory, people need an invitation from Romania. No wonder if, in these circumstances, persons with Romanian citizenship actually sell invitations to Moldavian citizens in front of our consulate in Chisinau. So, in the end, what was supposed to be a simple formality, meant to ease the rapprochement between two parts of the very same nation, turned out to be just as similar as obtaining a full visa.


What is my point, in short.

Some say, in good reason, that the reactions in Chisinau are exaggerated. People there expect everything to change over night, just like we did (not so many) years ago. They expect that Romania will be able to resolve all the problems generated by many years of bad post-Soviet relations in no time at all. It is impossible, it takes some time. And, in my view, it will be done, one way or another, sooner or later.

But still.

It is not about how the Romanian state treats some foreign citizens trying to enter the national territory, it is about how the Romanian state treats just about everybody - and the Romanian citizens are generously included. Our Romanian bureaucracy is one of the "best" ever invented yet.

I know that we have to be careful about our position in the EU. We are not quite the most disciplined member of the European community (to say the least), and our justice system is - rightfully - a matter of concern in the offices at Bruxelles. I believe this is much more important than most of the Romanian politicians are - or shall be - able or willing to admit. However, I fail to see the direct connection between our quality of rightful members of the EU (indeed, since 2007 only) and our politics concerning Bassarabia. I see no contradiction between the two. I don't think we have to choose for one against the other. I don't think any policy towards Bassarabia can damage our European intentions and positions. I mention this because some Romanian analysts put much emphasis on the topic.

In the larger scheme, I believe we should take good care about what happens there today - it is a crucial time for Bassarabia and its future. I repeat: since April 2009, Bassarabia entered a crucial stage of its post-Soviet development and we have to be there. Meaning: the Romanian administration acted carelessly in Bassarabia from 1918 to 1940 (let's say 1945). The worst clerks of the Romanian administration saw appointments to Bassarabia as a punishment. Let's not repeat that glorious mistake. I don't want to see another mental rapture, like that from 1940, coming around the corner. History is reversible.

P.S. As I found out, a few days ago (after the draft for this post was written) the authorities decided that the permit for the free pass of the border can be issued without the invitation I mentioned above. That is, indeed, very good.

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