BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — More than 2,000 people marched through the Romanian capital Saturday demanding the country’s reunification with neighboring Moldova.
Demonstrators waved the virtually identical Romanian and Moldovan flags as they filed down the city’s main streets. They shouted “Bassarabia is part of Romania,” using the historical name for Moldova.
Some briefly scuffled with police. A photographer for The Associated Press saw police detain two people after fights broke out. Riot police said five were briefly detained and fined.
Organizer George Simion said protesters wanted political parties running in Romania’s December parliamentary elections to make reunification “a national project,” and take steps to integrate the neighbors, such as developing energy links and a joint currency.
Some protesters remained in a central square Saturday evening after the march ended.
Moldova was part of Romania until 1940, when it was annexed to the Soviet Union, and declared independence in 1991.
Some four-fifths of Moldovans, an Eastern European country of 4 million, are of Romanian descent. Romanian is the official language in Moldova, while Russian is widely used.
However, the reunification cause does not have much support in either Romania or Moldova.