Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova praised the Moldovan language Tuesday, saying it represents an "important phenomenon in world history."
Commenting on her Telegram channel on remarks by Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, who called the Moldovan language "an artificial construct created by the Soviet Union," Zakharova said "Mr. Aurescu was also 'created.' Is he an artificial construct?"
According to Zakharova, "Moldovan is an ancient language of Moldovans mentioned in works from the 17th century."
Specifically, she cited the 1628 book Treasures of Chronology by German scholar Johann Heinrich Alsted, in which Moldavian – lingua moldavorum – is mentioned in the table of languages and dialects of the Earth.
She said there are earlier references to the Moldovan language dating back to the 16th century, adding that at that time, there was no Romanian language, as there was the old Romanian language, which is more correctly called -- as most researchers believe -- the Wallachian language.
She said the actual Romanian language was formed only at the end of the 18th century, after the Romanian theologian Samuil Micu-Klein created a set of rules and grammar
Last week, the Moldovan parliament approved the final reading of a draft law renaming the state language from Moldovan to Romanian.
According to a statement by the parliament’s press service, Romanian will replace Moldovan as the country's language in all legislation published by the country, while the phrases “Moldovan language,” "official language," "state language" and "mother tongue" will also be replaced.
The bill was proposed by the pro-Western ruling Action and Solidarity Party. Moldovan President Maya Sandu has dual Moldovan-Romanian citizenship.