Montenegrin, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek and other peoples in the Balkans with a view to shaking off Ottoman domination. The Romanian liberating movement had also close relations of mutual assistance with those of the Czechs, Slovaki- ans, Poles, Hungarians, etc..., against the Habsburg Empire or some other big aggressive states. The scope of the relations with various peoples was continu- ously widened, particularly over the last century, up to remote geographical ar- eas. During World War II a relevant expression of this reality was the Romanian contribution to the nations' general effort to liquidate fascist domination, while in the post-war period the various forms of collaboration with peoples strongly interested in doing away with colonialism and neo-colonialism, with the imperi- alist policy of domination based on force and dictate, which are still a serious prejudice to peace and liberty on our planet.
The analysis of all the aforementioned factors allows me to broach a sec- ond, more general matter, namely that of the import and historical significance of the experience acquired by the Romanian people during its struggle against foreign domination.
When speaking of its significance I am referring, first and foremost, to the concrete outcome of this struggle in its close interdependence with the funda- mental goals pursued by Romanians along centuries: liberty, unity and full inde- pendence within the frontiers of their own unitary national state.
On account of historical vicissitudes, these goals could not be attained all at a time, but gradually, sometimes there being steps back and periods of regress, when victories already won were prejudiced or annuled by the aggressive em- pires. Thus some Romanian provinces were several times severed from the motherland and annexed by various empires, their liberation and re-liberation demanding the efforts and sacrifices of many a generation. The first union of the Romanian countries, accomplished in 1600 under the sceptre of voivode Michael the Brave, was short-lasting, as the invasion of the point armies of states hostile to this act led to setting up again the previous state of things. Only a quarter of a millenium later, in 1859, the final union of two Romanian provinces - Moldavia and Muntenia - could be achieved, a historical event marking the making of the Romanian modern state. It took another six decades until the other Romanian provinces succeeded in shaking off foreign domination in 1918.
The winning of full state independence also implied efforts made over a millenium. Quite true, owing to the fierce struggle they carried on, the Romani- ans managed to preserve, during all epochs, their own state establishments, en- joying a now larger, then more restricted autonomy, depending on the circum- stances of the time. However, they had to bear the burden, though with some intermittences, of all kinds of "suzerainties" and "protectorships", which meant grievous interference into their home affairs and barriers in the way of the de- velopment of their international relations. This state of things lasted until 1877,