Igor Botan: Military support promised to Moldova respects its neutrality and offers opportunities

The additional military support recently promised to Moldova by the European Union respects the country’s neutral status and offers the possibility to consolidate its potential, says the political pundit Igor Boțan. “Moldova’s cooperation with the EU is absolutely legitimate, especially since the EU provides support for resilience that does not involve lethal weapons or armaments. This resilience will allow us to withstand for a certain period of time in case of necessity”, he said during an IPN debate.

Asked whether the military aid promised by the European Union respects Moldova’s neutrality, Igor Botan cited the Association Agreement with the European Union which states that “Moldova, together with the EU, must contribute to strengthening peace and stability in the region. The Republic of Moldova, being a neutral state, cannot take the side of any belligerent side”. In this regard, the expert stated that “neither the Republic of Moldova nor the EU are belligerent parties”.

The expert gave the example of Ukraine receiving military aid from the European Union. “The outlook for Ukraine’s resistance has been very pessimistic. Despite this, when Ukraine demonstrated to the international public that it was ready to defend and fight, the European community began to provide them with the weapons they needed. International public opinion has made it very clear that Ukraine is right and is defending itself at this time. And Ukraine’s resilience was enough to last for a while, until public opinion was formed, until the states that are signatories to international treaties decided how to proceed in this situation. And now we see that Ukraine is receiving both lethal weapons and support of all kinds to resist this aggression. Technologically speaking, when the EU tells us that it will support us for resilience, we need to understand what we need for this resilience. First of all, we need it to withstand for a certain period of time, after which we will have the right to claim international support in order to resist, otherwise we have no chance. If we prove that we are able to resist, other opportunities will open up”, said Igor Boțan.

In particular, the expert compared the military budgets of the states that are part of the military blocs with those of neutral countries and concluded that “Moldova’s security policy needs a total overhaul", stressing that now this is difficult to achieve.

“Moldova’s security policy has always been reactive and never preventive. This needs to be reviewed immediately. The army must be properly equipped, based on Moldova’s potential, to be able to last as long as the political class, Moldovan diplomacy, ensures the attraction of the necessary international support, including as provided by Moldova’s Association Agreement with the EU. And this is becoming a reality. It is just that the total revision of Moldova’s security policy comes in very difficult circumstances, when we saw that a state reclaims its territories that the Soviet empire, or the Russian empire once had. Moreover, we see that this country, through its officials, says that Ukraine should not exist”, said Igor Boțan.

Moldova’s neutrality appeared in the Constitution in 1994. According to the expert, the main reason for that was the foreign forces that took control of part of Moldova’s territory. In order for these foreign forces to be withdrawn, Moldova has accepted the concept of neutrality.”

“Neutrality, in fact, does not exist anywhere in the world. This has been demonstrated by Switzerland. While Switzerland as a neutral state does not participate in any military alliance, it has a voice in determining what is happening in the world. Therefore, the Republic of Moldova has the right to have its attitude towards the threats that emerge in the region, remaining a neutral state within the limits provided by the Moldovan Constitution and international law”, added the expert.

The debate was the 244th installment of the “Political Culture” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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