Romania wants Moldova

Balkans Map

Balkans Map

Original Image

From the “Well, that’s not good.” department we have:

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has condemned a statement by the Romanian president, in which he vowed to make Moldova part of his country within 25 years.

So Romania wants to absorb Moldova. And it’s the Ukrainians that are P.O.’d about it. Okay… this is going to be interesting…. Yet more “trouble in the Balkans”…

We had one world war start there. We’ve had a few other adventures end there. We’ve had various empires fighting over parts of it throughout history. We’ve got religion battling religion there through the ages.

Now what?

One of Ukraine’s top Foreign Ministry officials has spoken out against any attempts by Romania to alter existing European borders. Oleg Voloshin says this will “only destabilize the entire system of European security, with unpredictable consequences.”

The warning comes in response to a statement by Romanian President Traian Basescu last week, in which he said Moldova would be incorporated into Romania within 25 years.

He says that like he thinks the entire system of European Security is stable now and like there are predictable outcomes when things go bump in the night there. But at any rate, he thinks it’s not good and could cause trouble.

Well Duh!

That report above is from Russia:

Where not surprisingly, they note that Russia is none too keen on the idea either:

Russia interested in “strong” Moldovan government

As Moldova is trying to overcome another political deadlock, the Communists are negotiating the center-left coalition with the Democratic Party.

The creation of the coalition between the Communists and the Democrats was announced on Sunday. It could have 57 votes in the parliament, sufficient to appoint a prime minister, the government and the parliament’s leadership. But it would still lack four votes necessary to elect the president.

The fourth parliamentary elections in two years will affect both Moldova’s domestic and foreign policies, head of the Russian president’s administration Sergey Naryshkin said in Chisinau on Sunday. He negotiated the political situation after the elections with leaders of parliamentary parties.

And a fair amount more at the link. Bottom line is that Russia is with Ukraine on this; in not liking Moldova to become part of a NATO state. (And probably furious at the notion Ukraine would then join NATO).

From the first article:

Moldova is currently in a state of political crisis. The country’s lawmakers have been unable to elect a president for over a year. Neighboring Romania is a member of NATO and the EU. Both Moldova and Romania are bordered by Ukraine.

The Romanian president says he wants Moldova to become an EU member and intends to erase the border between Romania and Moldova. Basescu expressed hope that such territorial changes will prompt Ukraine to join the EU as well.

Oh, great. Just what the region needs. Destabilization headed right up the underbelly of Russia…

But Wait, There’s More

However, Moldova has an unsolved territorial issue within its own borders – the Republic of Transdnestria. It is populated mostly by Russian speakers and lies along Moldova’s border with Ukraine. The republic broke away in the early ‘90s after a brief but bloody civil war which ended with Russia’s intervention. Russian peacekeepers still remain in Transdnestria. The republic is not recognized by any nation apart from similar breakaway states. According to NATO regulations, a country with unresolved territorial issues cannot become a member of the alliance. Romania, on the other hand, is already a NATO member.

What a mess. Only in the Balkans…

OK, not a hot war (yet). Maybe they just need to have every village and town become it’s own country…

“Hey! Romania! Remember: ‘No means NO!’, got it?”

And people wonder why I say that the region is not stable… From Hungary down and Czech east it’s just never been stable. Don’t see why it would suddenly change now. Given that there are historical records of minor ice burgs floating past Constantinople, if things get really cold, I suspect it’s going to get really bad.

I could not find a decent reference for the ice cover of the Bosporus at Constantinople. I found a reference to Strabo in the old Britannica; but I must be missing some ancient place names and not getting the search right. But I’ve read the report several times in several places of a winter so cold that ice formed there. Part of why the place has historically been unstable is that when winters were frozen over, that was the warm bit where you could still travel. So a load of armies going this way and that tended to wander through; especially when more northernly routes were iced over. Other times very cold weather further north and east drove bands of folks toward warmer and more south. The the migrations of the Goths for example. Such cold driven migration pressures could happen again.

Migrations of the Migration Era Pessimum when it got really cold

Migrations of the Migration Era Pessimum when it got really cold

Original Image

I also note that some maps cut off “The Balkans” at different places. Some include Romania, some not. So is this REALLY a “Balkans” issue? As they are north of the river that is sometimes used to demark the edge of the Balkan peninsula? Frankly, I don’t care. It’s the nature of the place that makes it “Balkanized” in any case.

Some more on the Migration Era Pessimum can be found here, though the wiki has had the cold cause reduced in importance from prior to this small paragraph and “Pessimum” is now “Period”:


There are a number of contemporary historical references across the world that there was an extended period of extreme weather in the years 535-536. This period of very cold weather is also seen through dendrochronology and ice cores. The causes of this cold weather period are debated, as are its consequences. Archaeology correspondent David Keys has asserted, controversially, that this weather event (which he postulates to have been caused by an eruption of the Krakatoa volcano) led to the mass movement of the Mongolian tribes, which in turn prompted moves by neighbouring tribes and thus much of the disruptive ‘barbarian invasions’ during the reign of Justinian.[5] This theory does not help explain the massive movements of people before the year 535.

Though the mobile version still has some of the older emphasis:

The Migration Period Pessimum (also referred to as Dark Ages Cold Period) was a period of cold climate in the North Atlantic region, lasting from about 450 to about 900 AD. [1] It succeeded the Roman Age Optimum and was followed by the Medieval Warm Period.

This Migration Period Pessimum saw the retreat of agriculture, including pasturing as well as cultivation of crops, leading to reforestation in large areas of central Europe and Scandinavia. [2] This period corresponds to the time following the Decline of the Roman Empire around 480 and the Plague of Justinian (541-542). [3] Climatically this period was one of rapid cooling indicated from tree-ring data [4] as well as sea surface temperatures based on diatom stratigraphy in Norwegian Sea [5] , which can be correlated with Bond event 1 in the North Atlantic sediments. [6] It was also a period of rising lake levels, increased bog growth and a peak in lake catchment erosion.

I note that this has a much wider time scale, and includes that this is Bond Event 1 (so add 540 AD to 1470 year Bond Event period = 2010 A.D. Hmmmm…) and shows rising lake levels (discussed earlier).

So that’s why I’m a tiny bit worried about a reprise…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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12 Responses to Romania wants Moldova

  1. boballab says:

    Yes Romania has a Balkan component, just remember a certain Romanian Prince became famous for his very cruel actions towards the invading Ottoman Turks and the Moldova region played a part in that tale too.

    Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș pronounced [ˈvlad ˈt͡sepeʃ] or simply as Dracula, was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462.

    Historically, Vlad III is best known for his resistance against the Ottoman Empire and its expansion[3] and for the cruel punishments he imposed on his enemies.[4]

    Vlad III is believed to have inspired the association of his name to that of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.[4]

    In most of the English-speaking world, the countries commonly included in the Balkan region are:[6]
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Kosovo (partially recognized[4])

    Other countries sometimes included are:

  2. Jason Calley says:

    Wow, talk about synchronicity…. I was discussing Constantinople last night with a friend and just received this email from him (note that this mentions the Constantinople Acropolis, not the Athenian Acropolis):

    In the spring of 764 an unusual occurrence shook the walls about the point of the Acropolis. The preceding winter had been one of Arctic severity. If the figures of Theophanes may be trusted, the sea along the northern and western shores of the Euxine was frozen to a distance of one hundred miles from land, and to a depth of sixty feet; and upon this foundation of solid ice a mass of snow forty-five feet high accumulated. As soon as the breath of spring liberated the frost-bound waters, a long procession of ice-floes came filing down the Bosporus, on their way to the southern seas. They came in such numbers that they packed in the narrow channel, and formed an ice-pile at the opening into the Sea of Marmora, extending from the Palace of Hiereia (Fener Bagtchessi) to the city, and from Chrysopolis to Galata, and as far as Mamas at the head of the Golden Horn.3
    At length the ice divided again, and as its several parts swayed in the swollen currents, one huge iceberg came dashing against the pier at the point of the Acropolis. Another, larger, followed, and hurled itself against the adjacent wall with a violence which shook the whole neighbourhood. The monstrous mass was broken by the concussion in three fragments, still so large that they overtopped the city bulwarks and invested the apex of the promontory from the Mangana to the Port Bosporus, overawing the city, and crushing, it would appear, the fortifications.
    Extensive repairs of these walls were commenced in the reign of Michael II., and completed by his son Theophilus on a scale which amounted to a work of reconstruction. Under the former emperor the rebel Thomas had besieged the city and forced the chain across the entrance of the Golden Horn, proving, for the first time, that even the fortifications in that quarter might be attacked by a bold enemy. The Saracens, moreover, displaying new vigour, had taken Sicily and Crete, and in 829 defeated the Imperial fleet in the ^Egean. Accordingly, it is not strange that Theophilus ordered the old ramparts along the shores of the city to be replaced by loftier and stronger fortifications, and that in the execution of the undertaking he spared no labour or expense. ” The gold coins of the realm,” says the chronicler, ” were spent as freely as if worthless pebbles.”

  3. ROM says:

    In response to the possibility of a past historical “Bond Event”, [ 540 AD ] the UK web site “Booty Meteorological Information Source” provides a fascinating picture of some 4000 years of weather and weather events in the British Isles.
    Put together by a meteorologist, it provides a good and realistic view of weather by the recorders of history of those past times. The site is an excellent counterweight to the numerous and often unverifiable but supposedly science based claims ie; tree rings, lake sediments and etc, that supposedly can provide accurate descriptions of weather events within very short decade long or less periods up to some 2000 years ago.
    What is outstanding in this collection of some 2000 years of historical weather and weather events in the British Isles is the incredible variability in the range and extremes of short term weather events and in the immense changes in the longer term climate in the different epochs.
    And this variability in extremes often occurring within much less than a decade of time.
    It makes all the current claims of supposedly dramatic global weather and climate related events look very tame indeed and really gives the lie to the claims of how the so called global warming will dramatically and catastrophically affect our global weather and climate.

    The Earth has been there, done that and got the climate T shirt times beyond counting in the eons past.

  4. Jason Calley says:

    One more small bit. The main harbor at Constantinople was in use until the seventh century or so when it “silted up.” It would be interesting to know whether the harbor truly silted up or perhaps instead the water level dropped because of large scale cooling, leading to water tied up in ice or in decreased outflow from the Black Sea.

  5. Jason Calley says:

    One more small bit.

    The main harbor at Constantinople was in use until the seventh century when it “silted up.” It would be interesting to know whether it did, in fact, silt up, or perhaps it was the water level that dropped due to massive cooling. More water tied up in ice or lower outflow from the Black Sea may have been the cause for loss of the harbor.

    Certainly there must be records or ruins to verify what water level was back then.

  6. George says:

    So … what do the Moldovans want?

  7. Pascvaks says:

    Bloody Sports! Yeh.. that’s what they need! Bloody Sports!

    Being a Yank, you might think I’d suggest American Football, but no it’s really to tame for these folks. English Rugby might work if they didn’t have any real rules, except everything had to be done on the field. Anyway, that’s the answer. No Rules Rugby!

    The Balkans will never learn to live in peace until they have World Class Balkan Rugby Teams ripping each other’s heads off every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

    I think they need to start with a 52 week season too. At least for the first 50 years or so.

    Oh.. yes, they need great American style TV coverage too with slow-mo and replay action and no hometown blackouts. That way, most of the fighting will be at the local bars and inside their own homes and they won’t be ripping each other’s heads off during or after the game on the playing field.

    People need a means of releaseing pent up frustrations and anxieties. Otherwise there’s no telling who they’re going to kill.

    Next problem?

  8. sdcougar says:

    “Romania wants Moldova” seems ignorant of the history. Moldova was a part of Romania but as part of the spoils of war, was incorporated into the Soviet Union after WWII.

    The president’s statement may be not much more than political posturing for the home crowd, hoping to bolster his weak position.

  9. pyromancer76 says:

    Thanks for the research. I can’t wait to read. Yes, warm(er) weather, water, productive agriculture all are necessary/desired by us humans. We will go to great lengths to get what we desire. Then there is plain ol’ envy. And it is time for that Bond event. I am interested in those 1500-year events that are milder and those that hit us where it hurts, as well as whatever mechanism is its “cause”. I have read two articles suggesting the ocean. The 2500-year ones are more related to the Sun. Will have to find. Maybe when Sun and Ocean get together?

    I think you must not want to worry alone!?!

  10. PhilJourdan says:

    So … what do the Moldovans want?

    George – good question. However I do not think “wants” and the Balkans go together well. It took NATO to give half the Balkans what they wanted.

  11. George says:

    Transnistria has elections in two days time. Might be interesting to keep an eye on the search engines and see what comes of them.

  12. Micu says:

    Regarding Basescu’s way of sending messages: he is a demagogue, his only concern is in winning supporters with no intention of making facts out of his words. He also pay no attention on the effect of his words outside Romania.
    Now, regarding Moldova you know that the existence of this state it’s a side effect of the way Russian empire makes politics. Those living in central and eastern Europe knew very well what that means. The land which is now Rep. Moldova was first time occupied by violence (of course) in 1812 by the Russian empire and reoccupied (also by a violent act) in 1939.
    People, language, traditions and history make Moldova a natural part of Romania (more than half of medieval Moldavia territory is now part of Romania, including it’s capitals and main cities) and that’s why the unification of this two states is legit and if will ever happen will not be a forced act.

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