Reconception of the Idea of the Nation state in the Republic of Moldova

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The processes of state formation in Moldova are covered. Attention is drawn to the controversial legacy that the republic received after the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence. Thanks to industrialization in the second half of the 20th century. Moldova has turned from an agrarian to an industrial-agrarian country of medium level of development. At the same time, the Moldovans, as the titular nation, underwent considerable Russification and assimilation. With the resettlement of 1 million Russian-speaking people to Moldova and the deportation of more than 500,000 Moldovans to other republics of the USSR, Moldova became multinational. At the end of the 20th century the Russian-speaking population made up about 35% of the republic's inhabitants, and in Transnistria - two-thirds. Attention was drawn to the fact that during the acquisition of independence by Moldova, national liberation, patriotic and nationalist forces were unheard of. Under their influence, the spelling of the Moldovan language in Latin script was restored, it was given the status of the only state language on the territory of Moldova, its identity with the Romanian language was recognized, and the ideology of unionism, unification with Romania was strengthened. The role of the language of international communication was assigned to the Russian language that was dominant before that. The model of the state was a unitary form with the provision of autonomous rights for national minorities in a single state. The Russian community and the Russified Ukrainian community, which was numerically the largest in Moldova, opposed such state-building and nation-building processes in the country. Transnistria became the center of their struggle. The separatists began to demand that the Russian language be granted the status of the second state language throughout the country, the formation of a federal system, according to which this region would receive the status of a subject of the federation with the right to veto the decisions of Chisinau if Tiraspil did not agree with them, and the rejection of plans for a union with Romania. The authorities of the Republic of Moldova did not agree to this. In response, the separatist leaders announced the formation of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, its independence and unification with the Russian Federation, and the preservation of Russian troops on the territory of the region for its protection. Attempts by the Republic of Moldova to eliminate the separatists in Transnistria and to restore the power of Chisinau in this territory were defeated by the armed forces of Russia in March-July 1992. It is emphasized that the independence declared by Transnistria in 1991 has not been recognized by any country in the world, not even Russia.

Over time, the plans of unionism lost their relevance in the society of the Republic of Moldova, moderate forces prevailed. The Republic of Moldova follows a course of permanent neutrality and preservation of its sovereignty. In the last 15 years, two political currents oriented toward the EU and Russia have shown political maturity in the republic. Constructive use of both of these international factors became dominant. The course of the Republic of Moldova on European integration is a priority, but no less important attention is paid to constructive cooperation with the Russian Federation on mutually beneficial terms. For the Republic of Moldova, this position is fundamental, and the declared permanent neutrality is the best confirmation of this. But the Russian Federation and PMR continue to sabotage Chisinau’s initiatives. In their opinion, the separation of Transnistria is a significant obstacle to the European integration of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, and the eastward expansion of the EU and NATO. It is emphasized that the international community demonstrates unity in preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, but there is no such consensus in the implementation of the national idea, which is based on unitary principles and the prevention of federalization of the republic. A large number of countries consider it expedient to ensure autonomy for the Russian-speaking population or even introduce a federal system in the country. The Republic of Moldova continues the course of building a monocentric state, in which national communities should acquire autonomy like Gagauzia. Despite this, PMR, enjoying the comprehensive support of Russia, continues to follow an independent course. Attention is drawn to the special interest of Ukraine in speeding up the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, to the efforts made by it for success in this matter, which constitutes a significant danger for Ukraine. It is emphasized that Ukraine is the only neighboring state of the Republic of Moldova that steadfastly supports its interests and is its reliable strategic partner.


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How to Cite
Derzhaliuk, M. (2023) “Reconception of the Idea of the Nation state in the Republic of Moldova”, Problems of World History, (20), pp. 128–149. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2022-20-8.
Author Biography

M. Derzhaliuk

Derzhaliuk Mykola – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Chief Research Fellow of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


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