Bucharest, May 16, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Daniel Stroe
Romanian ForMin Bogdan Aurescu asked his Moldovan counterpart Natalia Gherman to provide clarifications in a case which bristled authorities in Bucharest – the expulsion from the former Soviet republic of a Romanian citizen leading an association promoting the union of the two countries, days before a large event to be held today in Chisinau.
Aurescu discussed with his Moldovan counterpart Natalia Gherman the denial of access to the Republic of Moldova for Romanian citizen George Simion. On the sidelines of the Visegrad Group meeting in Bratislava, Aurescu asked Gherman “to communicate the clarifications previously requested by the Romanian part and to settle the situation” of Simion, the Foreign Affairs Ministry informed in a press release.
“The Romanian Embassy in Chisinau found out from public sources, in the afternoon of May 13, about the apprehension by representatives of the Bureau for Migration and Asylum of the Republic of Moldova of Romanian citizen George Simion. The diplomatic mission immediately contacted the relevant authorities of the Republic of Moldova — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau for Migration and Asylum — and asked for clarifications. A formal request to this effect was addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova,” the document reads.
According to the Moldovan Ministry of Interior, the authorities are entitled to declare foreign citizens undesirable if they endanger national security; it thus explained in a release to Moldovan news website Unimedia the reason for expelling on Wednesday Simion, the leader of the Action 2012 platform for the union of the Republic of Moldova with Romania.
Simion was apprehended by agents of the Moldovan Information and Security Service (SIS) and expelled from the country shortly afterwards, with a five-year ban from entering the Republic of Moldova. He is the first Romanian citizen to be removed and then denied entry into the Republic of Moldova over the past six years.
On Facebook, Simion said he was apprehended and then expelled days before a big unionist march scheduled to take place today in Chisinau. “They disagree with the protest on May 16 (…) They were afraid too many people may turn up and call for union”, he wrote. Moldovan state security service did not comment on this case.
Simion’s expulsion comes at a time when the pro-European Government in Chisinau largely depends on pro-Russian communists which raised eyebrows both in Bucharest and Brussels. With many youth now turning their eyes to the West, the topic of a union with Romania (which Moldova was part of until the Second World War) is back in public debates and angers those who promote Moldovan as a distinct people and even a distinct language, despite a decision of the country’s highest court saying the official language is Romanian.