Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric The President of Moldova Igor Dodon.

Generally the antixenophobic statements came from the representatives of opposition to the current government of Moldova, however, the statements from the parties of the ruling coalition took place as well.

On January 25, the Governor of Gagauzia Mihail Formuzal, speaking at the book presentation of P. Shornikov "Moldova during the Second World War" (see below), stated that today many young Moldovan citizens, including residents of Gagauzia, not through their fault, of course, but because of the national policy, are in an informational vacuum. They have no source of accurate historical information about the most important periods in the life of Moldova, which allows the enemies of its independent statehood to introduce harmful unionist myths in their minds that undermine their confidence in the prospects for independent development and establishment of their own country, brainwashing them against the reliable historical friend of Moldavia – Russia.

On January 28, Marian Lupu, speaking in the capital of Gagauzia, Comrat, said that he was surprised by the fact that the Moldovan students are still being taught not the history of their own, but a neighbouring state, when the course "History of of Romanians does not exist even in Romania itself. Course" History of Romanians does not exist even in Romania. Yes, about 10-11 percent of Moldova's population identify themselves as Romanians.'s Their right and their freedom. But, at the same time, the course of history, which find themselves only 10 percent of the population - a problem" - said Marian Lupu. He stressed that this problem is will be definitely "will be set up resolved." “There should be a history course of this state, the Republic of Moldova, the course of the nation that we are forming. We want every citizen of this country to find themselves in this history course,” – Speaker concluded.

On March 27, leader of the movement “Moldova without Nazism”, MP from the Communist Party of Moldova Ina Supac, directed an appeal to the administration of a public broadcaster “Teleradio-Moldova” and a public television “Moldova 1” with a request to sever the contract with a historian Vyacheslav Stavila, who hosted a weekly quiz “Prin Istorie – Spre Victorie”. As was noted in the appeal, in the discussions about World War II, Romanian army is presented by the TV host as an army of “liberators” of Moldova, whereas the Red Army is named as “occupiers” without an opportunity for an alternative point of view. “Through his efforts, the quiz turned into an odious megaphone for the followers of revanchist ideas of “Great Romania”, into a place with a single view on historical events, based on the concept of “history of Romanians”” – the appeal said. I. Supac reminded about the scandalous statement made by Stavila in 2012, about the fact that marshal Antonescu has “not one drop of Jewish blood”, and other views are – “Soviet propaganda”.

On April 1, an interview of the head of the Commission for Human Rights and Ethnic Minorities of Moldovan Parliament Vadim Mishin was published. He noted, that does not know a more “cruel and cynical” bill (on the state language) towards ethnic minorities. He stated that "the degree of inhumanity of the liberals' language bill borders with fascism". According to the deputy "it is difficult to imagine a more cruel, cynical, mindless bill in relation to the national minorities living in the Republic of Moldova". This document "in fact, is the beginning of the "cold war ", a challenge thrown out to a large part of the population of Moldova", "it will inevitably lead to the abyss, a split between all members of society, and perhaps even an armed conflict". "It's an open and frank violation of human rights. The next step, which is possible after the adoption of such a "document" is the physical destruction of all its citizens who do not belong to the titular nationality,"- Vadim Mishin said. On April 11, deputies of People’s Assembly of Gagauzia have unanimously adopted a statement on the new language policy introduced by the Liberal Party. The document noted, that “such initiatives, actions and views intentionally provoke the events destabilising the situation in the country by attempts to constitute genocide into the state policy of Moldovan Republic".

On April 11, during a plenary meeting of the Parliament Inna Supac proposed the present legislators to commemorate the victims of the anti-Jewish pogrom in Chisinau on April 7, 1903 with a moment of silence. On April 11, deputy from PCRM Oleg Reidman, speaking at a memorial rally at the monument to victims of the pogrom event, noted, “Today we sincerely wish to see an eternal inter-ethnic peace in our Republic of Moldova. We also know and remember, that it is a massive crime for the government to try and solve its problems, as it was 110 years ago, by diverting population’s attention and creating an image of an enemy amongst a particular ethnic group.

Taraclia regional council had unanimously adopted an appeal to the government of Moldova on April 12, about granting a status of national-cultural autonomy to the region, which is predominantly inhabited by Bulgarians.

On April 30, the Communist Party of Republic of Moldova (PCRM) faction in the Municipal council of Chisinau stated that Chisinau’s Municipality initiative to declare May 9 a “day of mourning” is a “provocative call, which are beyond good and evil".

On August 23, the eve of the anniversary of the liberation of Chisinau from German-Romanian occupation, the Communist Party of Moldova made a declaration. PCRM noted that on the eve of the anniversary of the liberation of Chisinau from the German-Romanian occupation and the restoration of the Moldovan state, it must be remembered that "the victory of humanity over the forces of darkness" and "fascist threat in Europe" was overcome by a "single international anti-fascist front, under the banner of freedom and enlightenment".

On July 11 Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti called out to the Moldovan Metropolitan to limit their homophobic activity. "Priests and politicians have to approach the topics of controversy, provoking controversy in the community with the utmost care and caution," - the head of state said at a meeting with Vladimir the Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova.

On December 20, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca expressed regret over the statements of Traian Basescu about the need for unification of Romania and Moldova. He said that such statements "can only lead to problems for Moldova".

After the statements of the Romanian TV presenter Radu Banciu in December, calling Moldovans "gypsies with a hand stretched out", and Moldovan female students - as "prostitutes", the Vice-Chairman of Parliament Adrian Candu requested the channel to publicly apologise to Moldovans and Prime Minister Leanca, and invited Banciu to come to Moldova to see reality.

On January 24, 2014, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the opposition leader, chairman of the Communist Party Vladimir Voronin. Commenting on Romanian President’s statements about intervening in Moldovan affairs if Moldova does not follow the path towards European integration, Voronin stated, “We urge Brussels to openly condemn Romanian President’s statements. Moldova is not a second Romanian state and Moldovans are not Romanians. This is the first time a President of a EU and NATO member state officially expresses territorial claims against another country – member of the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe. This is a deliberate policy against Moldovan independence, statehood and territorial integrity”.

On February 27, Communist MP Artur Resetnicov noted that he “shouldn’t mislead the public, Article 13 of Constitution has not been changed” and the language remains Moldovan. “Remember, Vice-Ministers and officials come and go, but the age-old language, people and traditions remain”.

On March 14, Communist MP and chairman of the Public Administration and Regional Development Committee Eduard Musuc claimed that the government is planning a falsification of the population census. He pointed out that even a cursory examination of the document revealed that the “project excludes the right to freedom of respondent’s opinion regarding their place of birth, ethnicity, citizenship and place of residence”. “The right to ethnic and linguistic self-determination is being violated. We therefore believe that the falsification of census is being planned in order to further the policy that violates the interests of national minorities. There is a threat to the unity of the Moldovan nation and the multi-ethnic nature of our state,” Musuc noted.

On September 2, Communist MP Inna Supac presented a statement of PCRM (Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova). According to the statement, PCRM demands drastic revision of the Code of Education, particularly regarding access to minority languages.

On September 4, members of CPRM criticised the initiative on the pages of Pulse newspaper. Meanwhile, MP and chairman of the Moldovan Veterans Union Alla Mironik stated that if Chirtoaca dares to even touch a single monument to our past, people will take to the streets. “You cannot just remove several pages of our history from the life of our republic. This is further evident by the fact that since March 18th and till this day the cities and towns of Moldova continue to celebrate the 70th anniversary of liberation from the Romanian-German forces”.

On October 29, Taraclia held a festival dedicated to the settlement of Bulgarians in Moldova. Mayor of the city Sergei Filipov noted that preservation of Bulgarian language in current conditions was only possible with the help of Vladimir Voronin from the Communist Party. Voronin, in turn, promised to provide Taraclia with a national-cultural status if he comes to power and repeal acts that violate the rights of ethnic groups. He said that in that case “a humane and democratic upbringing in the country will be based on respect for the rights, history and traditions of all nationalities”.

On November 17, leader of the Communist Party (PCRM) Vladimir Voronin congratulated the re-elected President of Romania Klaus Johannis and said that he expects he upholds the relationship between the two countries based on mutual trust and respect.

Members of the ruling coalition also made several anti-xenophobic statements, thought those were mostly superficial in nature. On September 15, annual festival of ethnic culture was held in Taraclia, gathering members of various ethnic groups populating Moldova. Speaker of Moldovan Parliament Igor Corman opened the festival with a speech, “Slogan of this festival is – unity through education. This is also the slogan of the European Union. Europeans united to ensure peace, prosperity and to preserve cultures, traditions and languages of all European peoples.”

On September 18, Igor Corman spoke at the National Minority Forum in Chisinau, “Integration into European community, which became the main vector of our country, also guarantees preservation of identity of ethnic minorities,” he said. “Our common goal is a coherent and consistent policy of the government, political parties and civil society in developing social cohesion and unity. Moldova is our common home. We all have similar problems and only together we will be able to provide for a better future.”

President Nikolae Timofti also talked about the importance of unity and mutual respect. “I started working since I was 15. I worked in in a large team – about 500 people of different nationalities. There were Jews, Russians, Romani, Ukrainians and Gagauzians. We all worked together and never considered ourselves different. We all talked about being united and living as a family”.

On October 15, Deputy Foreign Minister Iulian Groza met with chairman of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Andrew Burns. They discussed the importance of international cooperation in raising awareness about the Holocaust and educating tolerance. Iulina Groza assured Mr Burns that Moldovan government will continue to promote diversity and eliminate all forms of discrimination and anti-Semitism, including through review and approval of legal framework based on international standards. He added that Moldova intends to consider the possibility of joining the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Having assumed office on December 24, 2020, the new President of Moldova Maia Sandu addressed in her inaugural speech to national minorities in Russian, Gagauz, Bulgarian and Ukrainian and stated that she would not allow violation of their rights. The new president noted that she sees the fight against corruption as her main task. At the same time, she stated that she was in favor of the European orientation of Moldova and the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Transnistria.

The authorities recognize that hate speech harms the individuals and groups it is directed at, as well as the social cohesion and democratic principles of society. In order to raise awareness of this problem in the Republic of Moldova, in the second half of 2021, a number of activities are being carried out within the framework of the regional project “Improving Access to Justice for Victims of Discrimination, Hate Crime and Hate Incitement in the Eastern Partnership Countries”, as well as with the participation of project beneficiaries, namely the Equality Council, the Ombudsman's Office and the Promo-LEX Association.

In particular, a video has been prepared to inform the general public about what hate speech is, its mechanisms, and how victims or witnesses can receive redress for hate speech. This campaign is aimed at protecting representatives of groups such as LGBTI people, Romani women, children with disabilities, etc., as well as anyone who feels the need to better understand the phenomenon of hate speech and wants to do something to combat it by taking a stand against him in the various societies in which he lives. It provides suggestions for action to prevent and combat hate speech and contacts that victims of discrimination and hate speech can turn to.

President Maia Sandu, at a briefing on March 4, 2022, said that in recent days, messages and videos have been circulating on social networks that talk about conflict situations involving refugees from Ukraine. The head of state called for a stop to this phenomenon, adding that "the deliberate manipulation of tensions between people in the conditions of war next to our borders will be punished in accordance with the law."

“Over the past two days, messages and videos have been circulating on social networks that talk about misunderstandings or conflict situations involving refugees from Ukraine. We have witnessed organized and targeted efforts to divide society over the issue of refugees. This is unacceptable. And this needs to be stopped. State institutions are busy clarifying the circumstances of this “campaign” and will take the necessary measures to stop it,” the president said.

She added that the war in Ukraine is heating up the atmosphere in the region, including in Moldova. People are scared, people are nervous. This also applies to Moldovans who see an armed conflict on the border, but to a greater extent - refugees who, fleeing shelling, ended up on the street.

“In such circumstances, it is important not to reduce individual incidents or certain conflict situations to one denominator, but to look for peaceful ways to resolve them. Remember, everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to stress. And besides, each barrel of honey can have its own fly in the ointment. We need to stop spreading videos and posts that divide us, incite hatred and create a tense atmosphere in the country. It does not benefit anyone now, and does nothing to restore peace in society. I urge you to exercise restraint and be patient with each other. And if necessary, the police will help at any time to resolve the differences that arise,” explained Maia Sandu.

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