Despite theories claiming history is no longer a political resource, the story about past times continues to be very useful. Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu said in Paris that he intended "to propose to Russia common moves on our territory, with Romanian, Russian and American troops". But he blamed journalists for "erroneous interpretation" right afterwards. Nevertheless, the attitude in Paris doesn't fit the one in Bucharest and one press release sent for Romanian press doesn't harm the credibility of an international press agency.
Minister Melescanu's proposal for Russian military moves on Romanian territory is hallucinating. Melescanu seems to compete against ex minister Atanasiu in an unofficial competition on "how manages to annoy Romania's main military allies faster and better". Atanasiu's manner of disregarding diplomacy means and of using the military officials working as diplomats to announce the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Iraq seems just child play. Melescanu's invitation expresses the historical nightmare of Romanians: Russian troops in Romania. Domestic political confrontations are no excuse for aberrant views in foreign affairs and security matters.
The history of diplomacy and military relations between Moscow and Bucharest provide no guarantee for a nice future. In the war against the Turks in 1877, Bucharest had tough negotiations on an agreement on conditions to be met for Russian troops to cross Romania. After Romanian and Russian soldiers had fought together on the south of the Danube, minister Gorceakov threatened in March 1878 that there would follow "the occupation of Romania and the disarming of the Romanian military". Moscow did more than threat: Russian troops started occupying strategic positions in Bucharest, people were given proclamations written in Romanian and announcing Romania was being occupied.
A status such as ally of Russia was once again experienced in WW I. The Bolshevik Russian troops on Romanian territory tried for the first time to bestow the happiness of communism on us. The disarming irritated Moscow and the latter got even in August 1944. Despite the armistice convention signed in Moscow at that time, the Soviet troops continued to take Romanian soldiers on the way hostage.
The Soviet occupation didn't make Romanians happy. There are a lot of people who think it was the other way around. Even the communist leaders understood the idea that "Russian troops in Romania is no guarantee for the future". In 1958, the respective leaders managed to make Hruschev withdraw the Soviet troops. The Czech experience in 1968 - occupied by the "allies" in the Warsaw Treaty - was well interpreted in Bucharest. After 1968 Romania refused troop participation in the Warsaw Treaty operations and it also refused to shelter "allied" troops on its territory. Romania's experience with the Russian military in the last two centuries doesn't give us trust. General Gusa knew it very well when, in December 1989, he refused Russian military support, generously offered to Ion Iliescu.
Minister Melescanu's message - "Let the Russians come!" - is hallucinating as far as history is concerned. In 2008 there will be 40 years since Russian troops last walked on Romanian territory. I can but wonder if Moscow is concerned about this anniversary and if it is expressing it by minister Melescanu's mundane attitude.