Igor Munteanu: Neutrality means defense capability


The Republic of Moldova must strengthen its defense capabilities, invest more in security and explain to the citizens that these investments are not in vain, chairman of the Coalition for Unity and Wellbeing (CUB) Igor Munteanu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to him, in the context of the war in Ukraine and the militarization of the Transnistrian region, the field of security and defense of the Republic of Moldova must be a national priority.

The CUB leader noted that Moldova’s neutrality does not mean only putting this status on paper, but involves massive investments in national security and defense. The war in Ukraine prompted a number of states in Europe to strengthen their border security, which means that Russia poses a threat to the entire European continent.

“The fact that you pass a law deciphering the constitutional provisions about neutrality, no matter how you call it, constitutional or organic, depending on how many votes you have, does not change things. Neutrality means defense capability and decision-making autonomy. We have the example of Switzerland. Even Switzerland, in the context of the fundamental changes taking place on the European continent, is changing its policy of neutrality for another paradigm because nobody talks about war anymore as a phenomenon from the past, but talks about war as a current threat to the security architecture of all nations in Europe. If two neutral states decided to join collective security initiatives, Finland and Sweden, it means that they took this decision because they feel the threat of the Russian state and need a security umbrella. Lately, Germany has also changed its approach. Germany currently has a defense budget of €100 billion. This means that all important states in Europe feel threatened,” said Igor Munteanu.

According to the CUB leader, Moldova must strengthen its defense partnerships with NATO member states, increase the defense budget and explain to society the need for investments in security.

“When you feel threatened, go and join others. Even neutral states find ways to cooperate. The Republic of Moldova must do the same, not adopt another law. A law to do what? If you don’t increase your defense capabilities, if you’re not part of a broader alliance where your interests are protected, what’s the use of another law? Defense means financing. It means investments and unity internally, that these investments are not thrown out the window, but they work to protect the public interest,” stated Igor Munteanu.

The CUB leader also said that, in the context of the war in Ukraine, Moldova is vulnerable as it has a frozen conflict on its territory and foreign military forces deployed on the left bank of the Nistru.

“As long as 11% of Moldova’s territory is controlled by a foreign force, by military forces that are not accepted by our government, it’s clear that we have a serious security problem. That’s why investments in defense and security are appropriate. Investments must be streamlined and we must understand that only increasing defense capabilities will make citizens feel well at home. It will make citizens not be afraid of an invasion, security threats, hybrid warfare and other things that contribute to the fragmentation of society. If we look at opinion polls, we have the problem of prices, but we also have the problem of safety. With the war in Ukraine, the issue of safety has skyrocketed. Why do we need a referendum on neutrality when we know what worries the citizen?” asked the politician.

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.