Why is the AUR leader seen as a destabilizing factor of the Republic of Moldova | ANALYZE

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova explained the reasons why George Simion is banned in the neighboring country, the head of the AUR being seen as a person who could create instability. According to specialists, the Simion case has no repercussions in Bucharest, not being an impact issue, but Chisinau seeks to avoid additional problems.

The AUR leader was expelled and declared persona non grata in the Republic of Moldova PHOTO Inquam Photos

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Dorin Recean, declared, on Monday evening, that the measure regarding the extension of the ban on the president of the AUR, George Simion, on the territory of the neighboring country was taken after the Chisinau authorities established that “it is part of the destabilization effort” of the state. “The state institutions determined that George Simion is part of the destabilization effort in the Republic of Moldova, and I communicated this to Prime Minister Ciolacu“, declared the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, on Pro TV Chisinau. One reason is related to the fact that even in the Republic of Moldova the Romanian community is a strong one and could stir spirits in its ranks. For example, according to AEP data, there are approximately 280,000 Romanians in the Republic of Moldova (who have lived in this country and have a passport).

Banned in two neighboring states

Moreover, the controversies related to Simion are older. The AUR leader was expelled and declared persona non grata on the territory of the Republic of Moldova in 2018, the measure being extended at the beginning of the year. The Chisinau authorities then invoked the inappropriate behavior of the current president of the Alliance. The head of the AUR is also banned from entering the territory of Ukraine, which would expire in 2024, so the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, announced in a press conference that he would ask the two neighboring states to explain the reasons why they imposed these measures.

A former head of the Ministry of Defense of Moldova, a former head of the SIS (secret service of Moldova), but also a former first vice-president of the SBU (secret service of Ukraine) reported on meetings of George Simion with people of the secret services Russian, both on the territory of Ukraine, in 2011, and on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

Simion's reaction

Asked in a press conference if he plans to destabilize the Republic of Moldova, George Simion avoided a direct answer: “We have a union plan. That is, we don't want the Presidency, Government, Parliament to exist there, in Chisinau, but we want to have one country, as we had before”. “Certainly in the eyes of the governors of the Republic of Moldova this is equivalent to destabilization”, the party leader also accused. As for the Republic of Moldova, both Romanian and Brussels institutions support Chisinau's accession to the EU, not sensitive topics such as border redrawing, in an unstable context in the region, when Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia, and now the Russians they want at least the regions of eastern Ukraine.

What the experts say

Contacted by “Adevărul”, Teodor Meleșcanu, former head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, indicated, regarding the reasons that led to the banning of the party leader in the neighboring state, an increased pro-Russian presence in The Republic of Moldova, and an inappropriate behavior would lead to the stirring of spirits, and so inflamed by different politicians, as in the case of Ilan Șor, who through intermediaries leads a whole campaign against those in power.

Virgil Bălăceanu, a general in the reserve, claims that for now all the people who pronounce on the Simion case can do is to speculate, because the reasons are known only to the authorities in Chisinau, and for now they do not want to give details. “It's hard to decipher. Here the positions can be for and against (no – the ban) and such situations settle down (no – with time)”, Bălăceanu pointed out. Moreover, Bălăceanu pointed out that an analysis should be made not only on the Simion case, but also on AUR, in the sense of how much it is a sovereignist party and how much it is “oriented towards the western world”.

External prudence, low internal impact

Valeriu Turcan, former presidential advisor and communication specialist, explained to “Adevărul” that “Romania is in the electoral campaign and the atmosphere is becoming increasingly polarized. (…) The big parties will speculate on certain uninspired statements by AUR, but after the elections don't be surprised if you will see them at the same table around a bottle of wine. Given the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it's only natural that parties try to define themselves as “more patriotic” than others and try to identify “traitors”, but these rhetorical schemes are not new, and by no means did we invent them“, explained Valeriu Turcan.

According to the expert, in the electoral context, the subject has little impact, Romanians being focused on internal issues. “Simion is known for his anti-Voronin and pro-Unionist actions. It is hard to believe that it is a serious danger for the Republic of Moldova, more serious, let's say, than the Russian danger in the neighboring country“, explained the former presidential adviser.

“On the other hand, it is rational for the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to take measures so that the electoral campaign in Romania does not move beyond the Prut. This is the main meaning of the extension of the ban”Valeriu Turcan also pointed out.

Extremism and the threat to EU policies

The AUR leader recently launched a new attack on the European Union, which he called “the new Soviet Union“, saying that he will stop all those who “try to impose the new global order”. In the context, the head of the AUR spoke of “a world disease”, which “it works either through the scumbag called political correctness, or through censorship, through a new dictatorship” or a new ideology “neo-Marxist, globalist, socialist” and who “try to bring us all to the same level”. The latest published polls show a rise in extremist parties, which could automatically affect the direction of European politics. In this context, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu declared that the country must be defended from extremism, noting at the same time that he does not want “Romania to be a vassal of the Russian Federation” and justified the possible joint candidacy of the PSD-PNL for the European Parliament as a necessity to fight against the radical forces.