Igor Boțan: For Moldovan soldiers to be properly trained and equipped, we need foreign partners’ support

The citizens want us to have an army and this army to be a school of manhood. At the same time, the citizens want the Republic of Moldova to take part, as far as possible, in international peacekeeping missions. For the purpose, Moldovan officers and soldiers need to be properly trained and equipped, but we cannot do this without the foreign partners’ support, political pundit Igor Boțan, the permanent expert of the project, stated in IPN’s public debate “Why is the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces suspended?”.

The expert believes that the agreement on defense cooperation signed by Moldova with France in no way touches the neutrality status of the Republic of Moldova and comes to meet exactly what the citizens of the republic want, according to opinion polls, what the current opposition wanted when it was in power and what the current government must do so that the citizens of the Republic of Moldova feel protected.

Speaking about sociological data, Igor Boțan said that after the church, the army was, until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the most respected institution in Moldova. “After the Russian aggression in Ukraine, we saw that citizens’ trust in the military dropped sharply and this is a signal. According to the Constitution, we must have an army. If the army is not prepared, what do we need this army for? If we maintain it, as it is provided by the Constitution and a part of society supports this, we need to equip and train it so that it is useful to us,” noted the expert.

He also said that both the judgment of the Constitutional Court of May 2, 2017 and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which is to be suspended, need to be very well analyzed. This is because the Republic of Moldova has good relations with the Member States of the European Union and just as Germany made a gift to the Republic of Moldova (Piranha armored personnel carriers), the Republic of Moldova can continue the same line with France, as well as with other countries. “There are highly developed countries that switch over to more advanced defense systems, but the Republic of Moldova can eventually assimilate the defense systems that are already outdated in these countries and can do so within international missions of officers and soldiers from the Republic of Moldova as part of peacekeeping missions. It would be considerable work for the authorities, for experts to prove that what the Republic of Moldova is doing matches the general line that was started by the Party of Communists when it was in power,” said Igor Boțan.

“We must start from the fact that what is being done now in Moldova comes as a continuation of what was started, for example, by the Party of Communists when it was in power, with a constitutional majority. And what is happening now is only a continuation of the efforts undertaken, for example, by President Vladimir Voronin. I want to remind everyone, including our rulers, that the communist government tried to gain international recognition for the status of neutrality, but failed because the Russian Federation opposed then,” said the expert.

The public debate entitled “Why is the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces suspended?” was the 302nd instalment of IPN’s project “Developing political culture through public debates”, which is carried out with the support of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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