Anatol Șalaru: EU does not want to leave Moldova in a gray area

The signing of a cooperation agreement in security and defense between Chisinau and Brussels is a clear signal that the European Union does not want to leave Moldova in a gray area, former Minister of Defense Anatol Șalaru stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to him, the cooperation agreement will offer Moldova the possibility of an efficient exchange of information with the intelligence services of the EU member states and will strengthen the capacity of the state institutions to cope with Russia’s hybrid attacks.

The international press reported that Moldova and the European Union are to sign a security and defense cooperation agreement. Under the document, Moldova will benefit from exchange of information, joint military exercises and will be included in the joint procurement of weapons.

“This document appeared very late and I’m glad that the government in Chisinau didn’t refuse to sign such a document, didn’t oppose it because there were several cases when Chisinau opposed European initiatives. This agreement has now appeared and this shows the European Union does not want to leave the Republic of Moldova in a gray area and that the Republic of Moldova is part of the list of priorities of the European Union. The European Union wants to help strengthen our defense capability, not just in the military field. The Republic of Moldova received the EU candidate status, was invited to open the accession negotiations and, in this context, the Republic of Moldova must meet the requirements of the European Union in terms of state security. But the people should not misunderstand. The Republic of Moldova will not receive weapons, will not have a foreign army on its territory. It already has the Russian one, which is illegally stationed,” said former Minister of Defense Anatol Șalaru.

According to him, through the agreement that is to be signed, the European Union does not aim to arm Moldova. The European Union can provide financial aid to Moldova, but the constitutional authorities will decide how the money will be spent and whether it will be used to purchase military equipment.

“As far as the military equipment is concerned, there is another framework. There is the Defense Capacity Building Initiative through which NATO member countries can provide military aid to the Republic of Moldova, military equipment, weapons, if they want to do so. And the agreement we are talking about today does not mean providing weapons. The Republic of Moldova, if it has money, will be able to buy, through particular projects, military machinery, equipment, ammunition, but the European Union will not arm the Republic of Moldova. It can provide financial aid, as until now, to purchase a radar. Soon, I think the second radar will come. The Republic of Moldova can receive logistics support, information from the intelligence services of EU countries. It will receive assistance in strengthening the state institutions. But those who are already preparing to assert that the Republic of Moldova will be drawn into a war are wrong. We must counter such information that is part of this hybrid war that Russia is waging against us in all ways,” said Anatol Șalaru.

The former Minister of Defense also said that Russia will not give up its idea of overthrowing the pro-European government in Chisinau, and propaganda and disinformation will be the Kremlin’s main weapons in this regard.

“The governments tried for many years to flirt with both the European Union and Russia and now it became clear that this can no longer be done. Russia’s war against Ukraine gives reasons for concern to both the Republic of Moldova and the European Union that Russia will not stop and will try to regain the government in Chisinau through various methods of destabilization. We need the support of European services, which furnished our services with information about counterterrorism, money laundering information, destabilization attempts. All these things reveal the need for such an agreement. It is much better to have it than not to have it,” stated the former minister.

The public debate entitled “Why is a defense agreement with the EU necessary?” was the 305th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates”. The project is carried out by IPN News Agency with the support of the German “Hanns Seidel” Foundation.

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