Igor Boțan: Ukraine’s example shows a neutral state should also have defense capabilities

The consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have a powerful impact on the Republic of Moldova and the example of the neighboring country shows that a state, even if it’s neutral, needs to have defense capabilities, Igor Boțan, the permanent expert of IPN’s project, stated in a public debate entitled “Moldova for the first time at NATO Summit: motives and effects.

“We realize in what situation Ukraine was on February 24, 2022, when NATO experts said that Ukraine didn’t have chances to resist. However, the assessments changed immediately after Ukraine started to show firmness and to put up resistance. This was the most important thing achieved by Ukraine during the first two weeks. A country that showed it is able to defend its independence and sovereignty attracted the sympathies of the whole world, including NATO. For this, Ukraine was awarded armament to be able to defend itself without NATO’s involvement,” said the expert.

In this connection, Igor Boțan reminded that the EU and NATO agreed that the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine should no longer be left in the gray zone.

“The fact that they were granted the EU candidate status was to be confirmed by a NATO Summit and this was held in Madrid, which centered on the Black Sea Basin. The Bucharest Summit enumerated the weaknesses that need to be done away with for all those involved in this destabilization to realize that they do not have chances,” stated the expert.

Igor Boțan noted that the weakness to which Moldova is exposed can be seen daily. Among the examples are the hacking of Telegram accounts of high-ranking officials and the mounting of protests with the aim of destabilizing the situation. That’s why things should be regarded as a whole for the citizens to realize that NATO is a defensive alliance and reacts only to challenges coming from outside and such reactions should be discouraging for the potential aggressors.

The expert said Russia transmits a very clear message – that the former Soviet space should be restored.

“After Russia launched its military aggression against Ukraine, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO and the Russian president said that he does not have any problem with that. So, NATO is presented as a scarecrow, a propaganda element cultivated since the time of the USSR only with regard to the former Soviet republics that Russia considered as being in its sphere of influence,” stated Igor Boțan.

The public debate “Moldova for the first time at NATO Summit: motives and effects” staged by IPN was the 269th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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