A week ago, the Republic of Moldova took part in the meeting of foreign affairs ministers of the G7 group, which brings together the most powerful states of the world. Evidently, G7 had a serious reason for making such an invitation to one of the weakest and poorest countries in Europe. For its part, the Republic of Moldova had an appropriate objective for taking part in this summit. The objective was related rather to the strengthening of resilience, security and defense of the country given the profound regional security crisis caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The result of this intention of the Republic of Moldova on this new platform, alongside the already traditional platforms, was discussed by the experts invited to IPN’s public debate “How did Moldova reach G7 Summit and what should it do to take the foreign opportunities and build state resilience and defend citizens?”.
Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, said the event that took place a week ago was an extremely important occasion for the Republic of Moldova to make its national agenda visible on an international platform. “This international platform is intergovernmental in character. We speak about the governments of the seven states that are the main global economies. Respectively, the presence, alongside the representatives of these states, these governments is a success. In this case, the presidency of Germany in G7 is powerfully affected by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The event hosted by Germany, besides the Republic of Moldova, involved the representative of Ukraine. Ukraine is most affected as it is the target of the Russian Federation’s aggression. The third country – the Republic of Moldova – is one of the most affected countries in the region owing to a number of weaknesses,” stated the senior contributor of IPN News Agency.
According to him, it is extremely important for the Republic of Moldova to make its national agenda on resilience visible and to promote it because, during the over 30 years of independence, the Republic of Moldova hasn’t strengthened its statehood and institutions. On the contrary, the parties that were in power became weaker or, in some of the cases, eroded the institutions and their functionality. As a result, the agenda of the current government is to strengthen the institutions. This way the country can become resilient, can cope with internal and external shocks and can recover swifter if there are internal and external threats.
“Resilience is a fundamental concept, especially given the developments in Ukraine. Ukraine shows that it is resilient and this concept will probably count a lot for the development of the region, including for the process of joining the European Union,” stated Dionis Cenușa.
The president of the Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association Angela Grămadă considers the Republic of Moldova is among the most affected countries of the region in terms of its own security. “As to G7 and G20, these are international cooperation formats between states that have a great financial power. These formats are not about military assistance or supply of armament, but rather about the thinking up of global strategies for overcoming particular crises. The crises are not only military. They can be of any type. What happens today in Ukraine clearly shows this. Besides that war, besides those military operations in which a lot of people die, there is also the food crisis that already has an impact. Ukraine supplied a large number of states in Africa with grain, and not only in Africa, but also in other regions,” explained the expert.
Angela Grămadă said that it also goes to energy. “More exactly, Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was affected and this can later affect the Republic of Moldova too. The threats against the environment should also be discussed. We know that a lot of economic infrastructure facilities in Ukraine were damaged, but we don’t know what’s going on there. International experts do not have access to see the real impact on those cattle farms, for example. It seems irrelevant to us here, in the Republic of Moldova, but it can be a humanitarian, ecological catastrophe. Furthermore, we do not know exactly what happens at those nuclear power plants,” stated the expert.
According to her, the economy was seriously affected by the destruction of the logistic supply chains, the transport ways that connected different regions in Europe, Asia etc. This means the prices will grow until the suppliers and importers, including in the Republic of Moldova, find alternatives. “This slightly gloomy picture affects the internal resilience of the Republic of Moldova and not only from the viewpoint of the impact on macroeconomic indicators, but also of the resilience of public institutions as dysfunctionality appears at economic level and the population is dissatisfied and can start to take to the streets,” she noted.
Elena Mârzac, executive director of the Information and Documentation Center on NATO, said it is very important to build resilience in security and defense. “If the Republic of Moldova had strengthened these resilience capacities in security and defense, the imminent risk in the Transnistrian region could have been prevented or controlled. Even if our authorities assure us that three are no military risks, we know yet that we have foreign troops on this territory. This is a direct military risk to the national security of the Republic of Moldova. We have this “fifth column”. We have internal forces that are against the government, which are in opposition and are aimed at cooperation with the Russian Federation. All these things together represent an amalgam of factors that have a negative impact on the country’s national security,” stated Elena Mârzac.
According to her, there are risks and this should be said openly. More transparent communication on the persisting risks is necessary. “The goal of the challenges is to destabilize, to diminish trust in the capacity of the state to cope with military and public order challenges and to show that the state is a failed one. We agree that there are many faults, but in times of crisis like the current one, we should have confidence in the capacities of the government institutions,” said the expert.
Elena Mârzac also said that even if the Republic of Moldova is a neutral state, it is important that the country develops its defense capacities so as to have resilience in security and defense. “Regrettably, the budget for defense is very small, of less than 0.04% of the GDP. This shows that external assistance is necessary. Resilience is equal to the state’s capacity to resist this crisis, an eventual threat that can come, including from the Transnistrian region. It is considered that there are a number of scenarios as to the way in which the Russian Federation would like to use the region to reach southern Ukraine,” stated Elena Mârzac.
The public debate entitled “How did Moldova reach G7 Summit and what should it do to take the foreign opportunities and build state resilience and defend citizens?” was the 246th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.