Kremlin propagandists are reacting violently to the decision of the Moldovan parliament to recognize the Romanian language as the state language. The Vremya program on Channel One claims:
“Romanian instead of Moldovan in Moldova. Sounds wild. But just such an idea was approved by the parliament of the republic today. The deputies of the ruling Action and Solidarity party, founded in 2016 by the current president Maia Sandu, who, importantly, has dual citizenship of Romania and Moldova, voted in favor.
The essence of the initiative: in all documents, starting with the Constitution, everywhere the words "Moldovan language" should be replaced with "Romanian" and the same should be done with the phrases "state language", "official language" and "native language". So far, all this has been approved in the first reading.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in her Telegram channel:
“Real support for democracy the American way. Under Sandu, Moldova is abandoning its native language.”
The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, indeed has not only Moldovan, but also Romanian citizenship. This is a widespread practice; As Adrian Dupu, State Secretary of the Department for Relations with Moldova in the Romanian government, said in June 2022, about a million citizens of Moldova received Romanian citizenship and about 100,000 more were expecting it at that time - despite the fact that the population of the country (excluding Transnistria, which is not controlled by its government) is 2.6 million people. Sandu herself does not hide her Romanian citizenship; after winning the presidential election, she stated :
“I have two passports, but my heart is here, I will work only on the basis of the interests of my country.”
But with the Romanian language, everything is completely different, as Russian propagandists claim. The question of whether the Moldovan language exists and whether it differs in some way from Romanian has been a subject of controversy since the first days of Moldova's independence.
The term "Moldovan language" is found in the sources of the 16th-17th centuries, in particular, in the "Description of Moldavia" by Dmitry Cantemir (1714-1716). But it is also said there that the inhabitants of Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania (the last two, together with part of the then Moldavia, now make up the territory of Romania) have one language, although with some differences in pronunciation. Cantemir points out that the speakers of this language, which goes back to Latin, call it Romanian, that is, Roman. The work of Miron Kostin, published in 1677, is called "On the Moldavian or Romanian language."
In the 19th century, the eastern part of the Moldavian principality (Bessarabia) was annexed to the Russian Empire, while the western part united with Wallachia; later, the united Wallachian-Moldavian principality became the Kingdom of Romania. This led to the fact that two different writing systems began to be used in the language: in the part belonging to Russia, the Cyrillic alphabet, and in Romania, the Latin alphabet. This situation persisted until the collapse of the USSR; Moldova, which became independent, decided to switch to the Latin alphabet.
At this moment, the question arose of whether the language of Romania and Moldova should be considered the same. The law on the functioning of languages, adopted back in 1989, states "the reality of the Moldovan-Romanian linguistic identity." The Declaration of Independence, adopted in 1991,mentions the decision of the Parliament on the declaration of the Romanian language as the state language. However, the 1994 Constitution contains the following language:
"The state language of the Republic of Moldova is the Moldovan language, which functions on the basis of the Latin script."
After that, the terms "Moldovan language" and "Romanian language" began to be used on an equal basis. In Moldovan schools, the subject is called "Romanian"; in the first years of independence, they used textbooks published in Romania. In 2000, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova developed the Romanian Spelling Dictionary, using the rules approved by the Romanian Academy. The International Organization for Standardization, which originally provided a separate code for the Moldovan language in the ISO 639 standard, later abolished it. This already shows that there is practically no difference between the languages.
In this situation, MPs appealed to the Constitutional Court to eliminate the contradiction between the wording of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In December 2013, the Constitutional Court adopted a ruling in which it recognized that it could not change the wording of the Constitution, as this was the exclusive prerogative of Parliament, and therefore had to resolve the contradiction through interpretation. According to the court decision, the norm of the Declaration of Independence prevails over the norm of Article 13 of the Constitution, which refers to the Moldovan language.
Thus, the recent decision of the Parliament only brings the wording of the Constitution in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court.
As for Channel One’s statement that this “sounds wild”, we can remind the correspondent that in Austria the official language is German, in Belgium - Dutch and French, in Switzerland - Italian, German and French, and no one sees anything in this. especially wild.
Zakharova, with her phrase about “American-style democracy”, unwittingly turned out to be closer to the truth: the American language also does not exist, in the USA they speak English.