Irina Vlah: Now it is not the time to spend on defense

The Republic of Moldova is facing economic and social problems and investments in defense are inopportune, the head of the Moldova Platform Irina Vlah stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to her, doubling the defense budget is inexplicable in the context of a major budget deficit.

Irina Vlah considers the government’s decision to increase the budget for national defense amidst the precarious socioeconomic situation is mistakable. Moldova doesn’t need armament, but investments in education and health.

“We need to understand what situation we live in, what budget and budget deficit we have. Over the last two years, the defense budget was doubled. When you are the poorest country in Europe this is nonsense. The government increased the defense budget, but we have problems in the social sphere, in the education sector, where the budget was increased only by 11%. What future of the Republic of Moldova can we talk about when we do not invest in education, health, we do not make efforts for the young people to stay in the Republic of Moldova, but we invest in defense. Who will defend the country if all the young people go abroad? Now it is not the time to spend on defense,” said Irina Vlah.

According to her, a referendum on Moldova’s neutrality status would put an end to dissensions in society on this issue. Moreover, for greater clarity, Parliament should adopt a law that will expressly stipulate what the neutrality status means.

“We have the example of Georgia. In 2008, when Georgia chose the path to NATO, we saw what happened. We see what is happening in Ukraine. There are voices in Ukraine saying that after the country chose the option to join NATO, problems began. Therefore, for the Republic of Moldova, the neutrality status is the subject that unites society. We must have a referendum on the neutrality of the country. We must see the opinion of the people - do the citizens want the neutrality status to be kept or they want us to enter military blocs? We see that the government wants to organize a referendum. The question of neutrality should be added because we need to see what the people think. In addition, Parliament must adopt an organic law to specify what the neutrality status means for Moldova,” explained Irina Vlah.

In the same connection, she said that the referendum proposed by President Maia Sandu on the country’s European integration is an attempt to manipulate public opinion in order to obtain political advantages.

“My opinion is that the referendum proposed by Maia Sandu should not take place this year. Such a referendum can be held only after the accession negotiations, after we fulfill all the conditions for accession. I think this referendum is a PR action for a politician, who is now in the presidential administration’s building,” noted Irina Vlah.

The public debate entitled “Moldova’s neutrality between advantages, risks and dangers” was the 299th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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