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Tomasz Horbowski

Tomasz Horbowski: Angela Merkel Has Four Hours for Moldova

For the first time in history, German Chancellor visited Moldova. Representatives of Moldovan authorities called the visit “historic”, the opposition marked it as “devoid of specifics”. But there is no doubt that Merkel’s four-hour visit to Chisinau is a great success for Moldova, taking into account all the given circumstances.
Ангела Меркель и Влад Филат в самом большом винном погребе в Крикове; Источник: gov.md

Angela Merkel and Vlad Filat in the largest wine-vault in Krikov; Source: gov.md

When Forbes determined that Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world, her plane landed at the Chisinau International Airport. A few days before the visit German newspapers made fun of her trip. “Then, when the whole world thinks whether German Chancellor saves the euro zone or not, she goes to visit a post-Soviet microstate, which nobody knows and nobody visits” – commented Die Welt. Preparations for the visit of Chancellor Merkel lasted for many weeks. Chisinau was at the highest state of readiness. City was cleaned and decorated, trees were planted and sod lawns were installed. Several incidents took place. The lawns were stolen and German Chancellor’s convoy was welcomed with the Molotov cocktail, which in the end hit Filat’s car.

The official reason of Merkel’s visit to Chisinau was the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Moldova and Germany. They informally talked about the geopolitical game with Russia and Germany’s involvement in the conflict settlement in Transnistria. This was what German Chancellor said publicly two years ago during a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in Meseberg, offering Russia security cooperation in exchange for a successful resolution of the conflict. And although since that meeting some changes have already taken place (at least, Transnistrian government), the actual president of Russia, Vladimir Putin cannot imagine his main geopolitical project, which is the Eurasian Union, without Moldova. This can be difficult without a proper “instruments of influence”.

What is interesting, before German Chancellor’s departure to Chisinau Russian ambassador in Berlin had asked his Moldovan colleague for information on this visit. Thus, Angela Merkel’s visit is in line with Germany’s interest in the East, but also in the policy of activities in the countries bordering the EU (in the past year, Chancellor visited the Balkans). Angela Merkel also had to come to Moldova with the message: “You have chosen the right course to Europe. Keep it up! “.

Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Foreign Minister Leanca escorted Angela Merkel at the Chisinau Airport:

During her visit Angela Merkel spoke about the integration with the EU, praised the Moldovan authorities, encouraged to do the following “steps towards a European perspective”, and to get involved in the Eastern Partnership. “Transnistria should have a special status within Moldova” – she emphasized. However, those who counted on a great message, the promise of integration or a concrete plan to resolve the conflict with Tiraspol were disappointed. “Patience” – that is the advice of Merkel to Moldova, when it is going about integration with the EU. “The negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE in the “5+2″ format” is a recipe for the Transnistrian conflict.

The leaders of the ruling Alliance for European Integration without a shadow of doubt called the visit “historic.” The opposition is more sceptical. Vladimir Voronin, the leader of the most popular Communist Party, sent Angela Merkel a special letter, which describes the situation in Moldova and provides evidence of how the government, in fact, harms the integration with the EU and does everything for the unification of Moldova and Romania. Unfortunately, it was not possible to arrange an individual meeting with Voronin, the leader of the biggest political force in Moldova.
German Chancellor had nothing to say, except what everybody already knows. However, the fact that the most powerful woman of the world goes to the country, which “nobody visits” is a Moldavian success. Especially, taking into account all the circumstances.

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Tomasz Horbowski, rocznik 1985. Absolwent Studium Europy Wschodniej na specjalizacji Europa Wschodnia/Azja Centralna i Papieskiego Wydziału Teologicznego "Bobolanum". Spędził rok w Kazachstanie na stypendium naukowym w Ałmaty. Pracuje w Centrum Informacyjnym dla Władz Lokalnych w Mołdawii. Idealista z urodzenia, przekonania i wyboru.

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