Ambassador Malginov rejects reports about the USSR restoration


In the context of the political turmoil in Ukraine, the Russian ambassador in Bucharest, Oleg Malginov granted an interview to the public television of Romania, TVR, in which he outlines Moscow’s point of view with regard to several issues, such as the European sanctions and the fears about an escalation of the crisis. According to stiri.tvr.ro, at a moment when Kremlin announced measures of retaliation against the economic sanctions set in place by the West, Malginov approached in the talk-show named ‘Ultima Editie’ (‘Latest Edition’), hosted by Claudiu Lucaci, several hot topics, from the isolation felt by Russia after the expansion of NATO to the situation of Transnistria, Moldova or the relations between Bucharest and Moscow.
Answering media reports about an alleged intention of President Putin to restore the Soviet Union, Ambassador Malginov assured: “The Soviet Union cannot be restored, this is out of question, and only some media run such stories. As for the Cold War, this is not our choice.” The Russian diplomat explained that, for many years, two mistakes have been made about Russia. First, some countries attempted to isolate his country with a political and military “wall” built through various means: the expansion of NATO, the military infrastructure of NATO that advanced ever closer to Russian borders, while some countries left the Treaty that limits the anti-missile defence systems and set in place their own version of global anti-missile shield. Meanwhile, the enlargement of NATO was conducted on such scale that it reached the Russian border as close as to touch it, effectively surrounding Russia with a virtual wall. Second, Russia was never considered as a full-right partner in Europe. Yes, nice words were said, but reality was different, as Moscow proposed in the first place an Eastern partnership conceived as a cooperation project. However, Russia was excluded from this project, the Russian diplomat reproached.
Speaking about the Russian minority living abroad, Ambassador Malginov extended his gratitude to Romania for the attention granted to this ethnic group:
“One must say that Russia, same as any other country, is naturally interested in the fate of the Russians who live in other countries, and there are many of them, after the fall of the Soviet Union. (…) We are concerned with their fate. Same as Romania, we are not indifferent to the destiny of our fellow nationals, I can see this matter is of great consequence. (…) I am grateful to Romanian authorities for their attitude toward the identity of Lipovan Rus and their language.”
In the same interview, the ambassador also mentioned the situation of Transnistria and the Republic of Moldova.
“Generally speaking, each people has its fate in its hands. The fate of the peoples of Moldova is in their own hands. And the power simply must take all these matters into consideration and behave realistically in politics. Are there issues in Moldova? Yes, there are, regarding Transnistria. Is there a format of negotiations? Yes, there is the « 5+2 » format. The most important component is 2, which means there are two sides that must agree on building a mutual understanding, to move forward step by step,” Ambassador Malginov explained. Even though this format is not very efficient, it is still better than no format at all, and if the sides abandon it, there will be nothing left to build upon, he warned. “It is very easy to destroy, but most difficult to create. This is why I want to emphasise once again that for Moldova it is very important to establish this internal social dialogue, they must make efforts to understand each other and devise a policy that will be acceptable for everybody. The international community grants support to this process in the format of guarantors and observers,” he explained.
At the conclusion of the interview, the Russian ambassador also referred to the political, economic and cultural relations between his country and Romania, which should have continuity. And, once again, he reiterated his wish for a constructive dialogue, by saying: “It is easier to destroy than create. One can say: that’s enough, let future generations deal with these matters,” but that would be wrong, he stated.

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