Moldova's leader plans to cancel agreement on establishing NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau
Moldovan President Igor Dodon said Monday he planned to propose an agreement in Brussels next month for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to recognize Chisinau as a neutral state.
---------------"I assumed office on December 23, last year – and they had signed this agreement in early December, because they realised that I would try to stop it. Certainly, I will be working to overturn this decision. In early February, when I am in Brussels, we will have a meeting with NATO leaders – we’ve already made a formal request. I want to know if they are ready to once again publicly support and sign the agreement, which would recognise the neutrality of the Republic of Moldova. Because if they are not – we need to understand what to expect from them in the future." Dodon told Russia Today.
In addition, the Moldovan president said he was going to meet with heads of NATO countries in Brussels in early February. According to Dodon, during the upcoming meeting, he would like to "find out whether the alliance members are ready to uphold and sign an agreement that would ensure Moldova’s neutral status."
Dodon also said that despite a strong "pro-NATO" propaganda, the majority of Moldova’s population does not want the country to joint NATO. "We will block any (NATO’s infiltration) attempts as well as prevent any dubious joint military exercises," he added.
In late November 2016, Moldova’s prime minister and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg signed an agreement on establishing a NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau. The document was later ratified by the country’s parliament.
According to its constitution, Moldova is a neutral state and is not a member of any military blocs, however, a number of politicians in Chisinau believe that this should not prevent the country from cooperating with NATO in accordance with an individual partnership plan envisaging that NATO experts advise the Moldovan military. The country, in turn, supports NATO’s peacekeeping missions by providing troops. An Information and Documentation Centre on NATO is in operation in Moldova.
Moldova-NATO relations started when Moldova joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in 1992 and the Partnership for Peace program in 1994. It has contributed troops to the NATO force in Kosovo since 2014. Moldovan lawmakers gave the go-ahead to open the NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau in July 2016. The corresponding document was later ratified by the Parliament.