Tensions grow in Moldova’s second largest city amid opposite demonstrations
Hundreds of police officers came to Moldova’s northern city of Balti to make sure that today’s demonstrations will take place without violence. Some 500 unionists are expected to march in Balti demanding reunification with Romania as it was from 1918 to 1940.
The demonstration might escalate into violence because some anti-unification protesters are already in the Central Square of the city asking the policemen not to let the unionists to march in the city. However, the Court has approved the unionist march for today.
Balti city has a significant number of Russian and Ukrainian residents. They are totally against reunification with Romania. Early today a small group of Russian-speaking people hit a man because he was West-oriented. The main demonstration is expected to take place today afternoon.
Some political parties are strong supporters of today’s events. The Socialists are already on the ground chanting “Romania, don’t forget – Moldova is not yours!” The young wing of the Communist Party will also be present to rally against the reunification with Romania.
The police reported that three people have been arrested. Members of the opposite group threw eggs and stones towards the police.
A similar demonstration took place a week ago in Moldova’s southern city of Cahul where the representatives of the “Moldova’s Patriots” group clashed with the unionists.
The Moldovan society is quite divided on this issue. Some believe Moldova should re-unite with Romania as they were from 1918 to 1940. Some think Moldova should not depend on anyone or the country should go East in hope to relive the Soviet times. The struggle is stronger as many people are Russian-speakers-only, and don’t have any basic knowledge of the national language of Moldova – Romanian.