Romanian Marcel Ciolacu believes the nation of Moldova and its language no longer exist in distinct form Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu © Getty Images / Vincenzo Nuzzolese; SOPA Images; LightRocket

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has claimed that both the Moldovan language and the Moldovan people no longer exist and that there are now only Romanians living in the former Soviet republic.

Speaking on the Digi24 news channel on Tuesday, Ciolacu promised to support Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who also holds a Romanian passport, in the upcoming presidential elections later this year.

The Romanian leader called her “the only European and democratic solution for the Republic of Moldova” and stated that Romania will “help” the neighboring country because “in the Republic of Moldova there are only Romanians and no one else.”

“There are no more Moldovans, there is no more Moldovan language, there is the Romanian language and there are Romanians,” the prime minister said.

Ciolacu made similar remarks back in March when he suggested that Romania and Moldova should merge into one state, which he has described as the only way for Chisinau to continue on its path towards European integration.

Moldova’s Socialist party has expressed outrage at the Romanian prime minister’s remarks, describing them as an insult to the country and its people.

“We have no questions for Mr. Colak [referring to Ciolacu] and his political formation. But we have many questions for the president, government and parliamentary majority in the Republic of Moldova, who leave this boorish, chauvinistic statement without a proper reaction,” reads a statement by the party.

EU applicant is dependent on us – Romanian PM EU applicant is dependent on us – Romanian PM

Read more

EU applicant is dependent on us – Romanian PM

According to the latest government statistics, Moldova, which is sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, currently has a population of over 2.5 million people. More than 80% of the population speaks Romanian and, according to various estimates, up to half are believed to hold a Romanian passport.

Last year, Sandu signed a decree renaming the official state language from Moldovan to Romanian, arguing that this would help unite the nation with the 27 million other people around the world who speak Romanian – an official language of the EU.

Sandu has insisted that the division of the Moldovan and Romanian people is artificial and expressed support for the eventual unification with Romania and a path towards EU and NATO membership, despite the neutrality enshrined in the country’s constitution.

However, a poll taken in March shows that nearly two thirds of the Moldovan population opposes merging with Romania, with over half saying they did not want to join NATO. (RT)