Vitalie Marinuța: I’m an advocate not only of cooperation with NATO, but also of entry into NATO

I am an advocate not only of the cooperation with NATO, but also of joining of NATO, former Minister of Defense Vitalie Marinuța stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to him, Moldova’s entry into NATO will provide considerable security benefits and the preparations for joining this political-military alliance should be started now.

On March 6, Moldova’s Cabinet decided to suspend the obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. According to Minister of Defense Anatolie Nosatyi, Moldova took this decision because in November 2023 Russia withdrew from this Treaty, after suspending it in 2007.

“All this time, the NATO countries have tried to have a dialogue with the Russian Federation, but Russia does not respect its obligations. In the end, the NATO countries suspended the treaty and it is no longer valid. I’m a supporter not only of the cooperation with NATO, but also of joining of NATO. I believe that the Republic of Moldova will enjoy the greatest benefit if it starts this process right now. On the part of the government, we see the rhetoric according to which it would be good, but we are not prepared, we have the status of neutrality. We are not ready to join the European Union either, but we set the goal of joining it in 2030. In exactly the same way, if there is political will, we must have a goal for joining NATO,” said ex-Minister of Defense Vitalie Marinuța.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces, signed by the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries in 1990 in Paris, imposed restrictions on military equipment in Europe, ensuring a balance of military capabilities. Vitalie Marinuța noted that the keeping of this treaty in force would have contributed to combating propaganda about the existence of military equipment in the Republic of Moldova as all the signatory countries would have been obliged to make public their military capabilities.

It would have been good not to suspend this treaty, but to maintain it. It would have been a possibility to combat propaganda. Because this treaty stipulates not only how many combat vehicles we must have, but also the possibility of monitoring the number of vehicles, their location. All the signatory states presented an annual report on the stocks of military equipment. The Republic of Moldova followed the formula adopted by our strategic partners, practically all the NATO countries, to suspend it and return to the table to discuss the treaty if there are the necessary collective security conditions in Europe,” explained Vitalie Marinuța.

According to the former minister, NATO has always supported the countries’ decision to come closer to the North Atlantic Alliance without imposing this process. Joining the Partnership for Peace Agreement, signed by the communist government, was Moldova’s first step towards strengthening the cooperation with NATO.

“Throughout the period of existence of NATO, this supported the position that the countries that want to advance on their democratic path have the possibility of joining the NATO political-military alliance through an open-door policy. Since 1992, they have promoted the Partnership for Peace and the countries of the former Warsaw Pact and the newly independent states, such as the Republic of Moldova, have had the opportunity to develop their military capabilities through this Partnership for Peace. This inclusive NATO policy didn’t force the entry or a security model on countries. Every country has the right to choose,” stated Vitalie Marinuța.

The public debate entitled “Why is the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces suspended?” was the 302nd instalment of IPN’s project “Developing political culture through public debates”, which is carried out with the support of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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