Cooperation with NATO and complementation of 3C strategy. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

To correctly inform the citizens and ensure a coherent path of development for the Republic of Moldova, the PAS government should supplement the 3C strategy with consistency and should transform it into 4C...

Coincidence or subtle adjustment?

Last week, on July 6, 2020, there were celebrated two anniversaries: 73 years of the second wave of deportations from Bessarabians to Siberia and 16 years of the signing by the Moldovan Government of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) Republic of Moldova – NATO. At first sight, it seems that this is a simple coincidence. But it can also be a subtle adjustment of the date of adoption of IPAP, a symbolic gesture for warning society – the avoidance in the future of tragedies similar to the deportations is possible only in the case of active cooperation of the Republic of Moldova with NATO. The symbolism is not irrational if we take into account the fact that one of the signatories of IPAP, Zinaida Grechanyi, was born in Tomsk in Siberia, in a family of deported Bessarabians.

So, the IPAP adopted in 2006 envisioned long-term cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and NATO for consultations, command and control (3C) and the development of logistical infrastructure for ensuring the 3Cs and also for acquiring appropriate equipment. Among the declared goals of the Communist authorities of that time, when the IPAP was signed, were also:

  • at foreign level, to ensure interoperability so as to obtain forces capable of acting together with those of the allied and partner states;
  • at foreign level, to build interoperable Armed Forces, partially professional, with a body of professional sub-officers and offices who can swiftly and appropriately react to crisis or conflict situations;
  • development of modern ground-based air defense  systems, creation of a modern air traffic control system and signing of bilateral agreements with Romania and Ukraine so as to receive primary radar data concerning air traffic;
  • working out of long-term logistics building and equipment plans etc.

Since 2006 until present, IPAP has been updated for five (!) times, but none of the updated versions specified the goals so clearly and directly as the first version that was adopted by the government of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM). The last time IPAP was updated by the government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) on January 19, 2022, about a month before the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Evidently, the last version immediately lost its topicality and requires an adjustment to the new circumstances.

Communist-Socialist duality

Surprisingly, after the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine started, the security of the Republic of Moldova became a subject of concern for the Republic of Moldova’s partners – the UK, the EU and NATO. This way, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated clearly that: “Moldova should be equipped to NATO standard…”, which matches the IPAP provisions on interoperability. Lately, at the recent Madrid summit, of June 28 – 30, 2022, NATO undertook to offernew packages of support to other partners exposed to risks, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova”. In the same development, in the summit of the European Council, it was decided to offer additionally €40 million in assistance for the benefit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova within the European Peace Facility.

Against such a background, the PCRM propagandists vehemently challenge the readiness of the Republic of Moldova’s partners to honor their commitments in accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned document. They accuse the PAS government of having pro-NATO feelings and that “the active militarization of the neutral Moldovan state can cause only concern, while the rearming of the army, the doubling of the military budget amid an all-inclusive rise in prices and the impoverishing of the people look like mockery”, ignoring the fact that PCRM laid the basis of the Republic of Moldova’s cooperation with NATO through IPAP.

We must admit that the inconsistency of the representatives of PCRM is a child’s play against the cynicism shown by their mates from the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS). This way, the leaders of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) decided to express their profound concern about the defying by the government of the neutrality status of our country by extending the cooperation with NATO. According to PSRM, the new individual cooperation plan with NATO for 2022-2023 envisions the holding of “political consultations at different levels, between Chisinau and the NATO member states, on issues related to the strengthening of democratic control of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova, cooperation in the modernization and development of the capacities of the armed forces of the Republic of Moldova, cooperation in combating new threats to security: cyber-attacks, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” Respectively, the Socialists reached the conclusion that such cooperation with NATO is absolutely inacceptable for a neutral state.

The PSRM’s cynicism becomes evident when we discover that the last IPAP variant was drafted by the government voted in by PSRM, which was led by Prime Minister Ion Chicu. The draft was to be signed by several ministers of the PSRM government – Fadei Nagachevski and Victor Gaichuk, who contributed to the document. The draft wasn’t adopted because the Chicu Government resigned when the term in office of Igor Dodon as President expired. In this connection, it should be noted that the IPAP drafted by the team of PSRM was planned for 2021-2023, while the creative contribution of the PAS government consisted in the modification of the period – 2022-2023.

Shy behavior of PAS

Throughout this story about the Republic of Moldova’s cooperation with NATO, the shy behavior of the government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) becomes conspicuous. The party justifies the Republic of Moldova’s cooperation with NATO. This way, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicu Popescu insists that the support of the Republic of Moldova’s partners will consist only in the provision of non-lethal equipment. The given mention underlines the difference between the approach of the PAS and that of PCRM, of 2006. This way, the PCRM’s version envisioned the strengthening of the capacities of rapid and adequate response to crisis or conflict situations, which evidently cannot be done without lethal, defense armament.

In such circumstances, to cope with the propaganda aggression of the Communist-Socialists, PAS should honesty inform the citizens that the things done by the current government were initiated by the Communist-Socialists who later changed their attitude for the sake of illegal financing from Russia. Chronologically, the Communist-Socialists initiated:

  • cooperation with NATO within IPAP was started in 2006 by PCRM and was to be extended by the PSRM government in 2021;
  • optimization of the education system was started by PCRM in 2007 by the adoption of the National Development Strategy, was resumed by PSRM in 2020 by the merger of several higher education institutions;
  • decision to apply for the EU candidate country status was decided in June 2008, in the meeting of the National Commission for European Integration that was chaired by the leader of PCRM Vladimir Voronin and involved the current leaders of PSRM Igor Dodon and Zinaiada Grechanyi.

In conclusion, to correctly inform the citizens and ensure a coherent path of development for the Republic of Moldova, the PAS government should supplement the 3C strategy with consistency and should transform it into 4C.

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