By Paul Goble
Sunday’s demonstrations in Belarus on the centenary of the Belarus Peoples Republic attracted more attention, but a 7,000- person demonstration in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau against that country’s pro-Moscow president Igor Dodon and for the unification of Moldova and Romania may be more significant.
The meeting occurred on another centenary, that of the unification of Bessarabia with Romania in 1918. The organizers styled the event as “a Grand National Assembly,” and it featured sympathic Moldovan and Romanian politicians (news.liga.net/photo/world/14919210-doloy_dodona_v_moldove_mitingovali_za_obedinenie_s_rumyniey.htm#6).
Former Romanian President Traian Băsescu led some 2000 people from Romania to take part in the demonstration.
Participants signed a symbolic declaration about unity with Romania and held up both Romanian and Moldovan flags while shouting denunciations of Moldovan President Dodon. He took to Facebook to call on the police to prevent the escalation of this demonstration. According to reports, some 21 people were arrested despite the meeting being completely peaceful.
The meeting follows and builds on the declaration of more than 130 Moldovan municipalities calling for unity with Romania. They represent “almost 20 percent” of all municipalities in the country, according to pro-unification leaders (charter97.org/ru/news/2018/3/25/284096/).