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.
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.
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.
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. 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.  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.  This period corresponds to the time following the Decline of the Roman Empire around 480 and the Plague of Justinian (541-542).  Climatically this period was one of rapid cooling indicated from tree-ring data  as well as sea surface temperatures based on diatom stratigraphy in Norwegian Sea  , which can be correlated with Bond event 1 in the North Atlantic sediments.  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…