Moldova counts for NATO, which follows attentively the developments in this state, says Alliance official

The Republic of Moldova counts for NATO, including because this state is a strategic point that can play a big part in increasing security in the Black Sea region, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Stefanie Babst said at the international conference “NATO – Alliance of Values and Solidarity” on October 2. He said that NATO is interested in the continuation of reforms in Moldova, in Moldova’s cooperation with the Alliance and follows attentively the developments in the country. Vice Speaker Iurie Rosca said that NATO is a very important partner for Moldova as regards the discussion of the Transnistrian dispute and the identification of the most successful ways of overcoming it as well as in strengthening the negotiation capacities in the talks over the withdrawal of troops carried out with Russia. He said that it is not excluded that the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova would be modified as regards the status of neutrality and that the partnership relations could evolve into discussions on Moldova’s accession to the Alliance, even if none of the sides is ready for this at the moment. On the other hand, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Eugenia Kistruga said that the relations between Moldova and NATO are built on the basis of article 11 of the Moldovan Constitution regarding Moldova’s permanent status of neutrality. The conference precedes the inauguration of the NATO Center in Chisinau scheduled for October 3. According to the Public Opinion Barometer of May 2007, 29% of the Moldovan population would vote for Moldova’s accession to NATO, as opposed to about 34% in the previous polls. At the same time, 27% or a little more that in the previous polls would vote against. Some 26% of the respondents said that the accession to NATO is the best solution for guaranteeing security, while over 38% said this about neutrality.

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