Since March 2010, Ambassador Marius Lazurca has represented Romania in the Republic of Moldova. Whether it was a coincidence or not but the Moldovan-Romanian relations became much smoother in that time. In July 2015, I had a meeting with him, during which we had the opportunity to discuss these relations. I will give a brief retrospection of that meeting.
Ambassador Lazurca was proposed to Chisinau by the Romanian authorities in a rather difficult period of political and administrative relations. In April 2009, Filip Teodorescu, then-ambassador, was declared persona non grata after Vladimir Voronin had accused Romania of staying behind the events of April 2009. Referring to this accusatory statement, the Ambassador said: “President Voronin provided no evidence that what he said was true either when being at the helm or when he stepped down from power”.
Later, the European Union requested Moldova to restore normal relations with Romania. In that time, Romania suggested Mihnea Constantinescu for Ambassador, but he was not approved by the Moldovan authorities, who requested to appoint another ambassador. Thus, a rather hostile political-administrative background was outlined. “However, this hostility ended with the youth taking to the streets and protesting on Piața Marii Adunări Naționale in 2009, they declared that they had been fed up with the regime of that time”, the Ambassador told me.
The barbed wire fence began to be removed from Prut on 10 February 2010. “It is amazing that this vestige of the Cold War, of the Soviet Union, of the artificial political hostility created between Romania and the Republic of Moldova has survived to 2010”, Mr. Ambassador said.
“But, thank God, after repeated elections in September 2009, a number of new political parties came to power, they understood that you could not continue a gradual approach to the European Union actually started by the PCRM, when you were in tense relations with your only European neighbor, a neighbor you were tied to – despite what one or the other was saying – by language and history”.
Until being appointed the ambassador to Chisinau, Mr. Marius Lazurca was the Ambassador of Romania to the Vatican. When being asked about the transfer from the Holy See to the reality of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Ambassador said that his coming had not happened in a difficult moment, but on the contrary in a moment of maximum openness. “I came during the end of the ‘Cold War’ between Chisinau and Bucharest, because in March 2010, when I arrived, things had already been settled. And unlike Mr. Teodorescu, who faced much more difficult conditions, I was privileged to work with a friendly government that understood the benefits of relations between Chisinau and Bucharest, and that was able to use the instrument of these privileged relations”. Whether it was a coincidence or not, but it is undeniable that the Moldovan-Romanian relations have improved since 2010. “Romania has done a lot for the Republic of Moldova throughout this time and I am glad that this success, of course, of the two governments has been achieved during my term of office”.
“So nothing was out of the ordinary. However, these rather simple things, which we have decided to do together, already produce results: there is a bigger dynamism in the drafting of basic security documents, an increased concern for legislative changes, a more active involvement of the Republic of Moldova in international peacekeeping missions. So we begin to see the fruits of our labours. And if the authorities will maintain this political will, which we have already seen, I am sure that in a few years the Republic of Moldova will improve significantly its capabilities to deal with a much more difficult security environment.”
Toward the end of the interview, I allow myself to ask Mr. Ambassador if the title of Excellency is able to satisfy his ego. “You see, it’s a ceremonial title. As you tell a woman ‘madam’ in certain circumstances and this title should be used reasonably and in the right circumstances, especially in the official ones. Otherwise, it is quite burdensome, because it always reminds you that you have professional and human standards that you have not yet reached – I mean the standards of excellence. The title ‘Mr./Mrs. Ambassador’ is a kind of addressing perhaps more appropriate and prudent. In any case, it is less binding than the title of Excellency. We are called Excellency not for indicating our qualities of excellence – professional, human, and so on – but because we represent the heads of the accreditation states in the countries where we are accredited. In this case, I represent the President of Romania, who is, if you wish, the holder of the title of Excellency. We are Excellencies of the Second Class by representation. Undoubtedly, it is flattering, but often awkward and exhausting”.
Photo by Dumitru Doru Location: Headquarters of the Embassy of Romania in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova