Russia not happy that Moldova has renamed its language ‘Romanian’

Russia has protested a vote in the Moldovan Parliament to rename its language Moldovan, a politically and culturally charged issue.

When Moldova was part of the Soviet Union, the language was called Moldovan to psychologically separate it from its neighbor Romania and dampen any initiative for reunification.

Moldova was part of Romania until 1940 when it was annexed to the Soviet Union.

The issue has continued to divide the country of 2.6 million. People who favor closer relations with Europe want the language to be called Romanian, while those with a pro-Russian stance prefer the language to be kept as Moldovan.

On March 16, Moldova’s Parliament voted to definitively change the name of the former Soviet republic’s official language to ‘Romanian’ from ‘Moldovan’ in all documents, laws and the constitution.

During the  parliamentary session, pro-Moscow Communists and Socialists jostled with lawmakers and yelled their disapproval. Fifty-eight of the 101 lawmakers voted for the change.

Moldova’s pro-Western government has tilted toward Europe in the past year, raising tensions with Russia.

On Saturday, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova reacted to the legislative changes.

“The current regime’s move to scrap the ‘Moldovan language begs the question: who does it belong to? (occupied  until 1940 by Romania) and Transnistria which until 1940 was part of Ukraine?”

Zaharova said that: „if we follow historical logic, Romanian should be called Moldovan not the other way round.”

The languages are virtually identical, a bit like American and British English.

The pro-Russian separatist republic of Transnistria still officially calls the language “Moldovan.”

Romania, however said it approved the vote which had a “profound symbolic meaning, re-establishing the scientific truth about the name for Moldova’s official language and confirming the statute of Romanian as the official language of the Republic of Moldova,” the foreign ministry said.

Moldova’s pro-European President Maia Sandu said: “ We speak Romanian and it’s unnatural for it to be called something else in laws and in the constitution” 

“Unfortunately it happened late, but it’s good it happened,” she said, adding she would sign the draft into law as soon as she received it.







Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here