By Chris King • 21 January 2023 • 22:13
Image of Moldovan President Maia Sandu.
Credit: Wikipedia - By European People's Party - EPP Zagreb Congress in Croatia, 20-21 November 2019, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84248319
Moldovan President Maia Sandu suggested today, Saturday, January 21, that the nation’s citizens must decide for themselves whether the country should abandon its neutrality. In an interview with Politico news outlet, she expressed her desire for the republic to join NATO.
“Now there is a serious discussion about our ability to protect ourselves. Can we do it ourselves, or should we be part of a larger alliance? And if we, as a state, come to the conclusion that we need to change neutrality, this should happen through a democratic process”, she stressed.
Sandu maintained that she did not agree with the opinion that Moldova does not need to invest in the military sector. The President pointed out that she believed that in the context of the events in Ukraine, it was important for Moldova to strengthen its defence potential, as reported by gazeta.ru.
Previously, the Moldovan leader voiced her interest in increasing military assistance from the US, EU, and NATO in order to strengthen the republic’s defence capability. In order for Moldova to be armed according to the standards of the alliance, more than €40 million would be allocated she revealed at the time.
As pointed out by the newspaper, although not a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, Moldova has still been cooperating with it and also contributed to the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Kosovo.
In December, Politico recalled, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu met with colleagues from NATO countries in Bucharest. During this meeting, the allies confirmed that they would support the republic. In particular, the training of the Moldovan defence forces was announced.
The conflict in Ukraine also affects Moldova the outlet insisted. One week ago, as reported by the local Ministry of Internal Affairs, fragments of a rocket again fell on the territory of the republic.
These fragments were discovered by the border patrol of the Larga checkpoint on the border with Ukraine. Prior to this, similar cases occurred in October and December last year. Attacks by Russia on the energy infrastructure in Ukraine have also disabled electricity supplies in Moldova they added.
After the publication of the Maia Sandu interview, Igor Dodon the former President of Moldova posted on his Telegram channel calling the current head of the republic dangerous.
“Sandu continues to draw Moldova into NATO, contrary to the neutrality prescribed in the Constitution and the will of the Moldovan people, who are categorically against joining this military structure”, Dodon wrote.
The politician claimed that the president is acting “on the orders of his overseas masters, against the interests of the country and the people, against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Moldova”.
“Our citizens want to maintain neutrality and peace, as evidenced by the results of numerous public opinion polls, and they will never agree to become cannon fodder for NATO in the fight against Russia”, he insisted.
This is not the first time that somebody in Moldova has been talking about the impossibility of maintaining neutrality against the backdrop of the situation in the neighbouring country. In December, Igor Grosu, the chairman of the country’s parliament, and leader of the ruling Action and Solidarity Party told TV8 that now the republic needs to “choose a side”.
“Are we on the side of war or on the side of peace? To say that we are against violence, we are neutral, we are independent, we love everyone – this is impossible, impermissible and unforgivable”, the parliamentarian said.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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