Moldovan president-elect opposes planned NATO office

President-in-waiting Igor Dodon claims a NATO office would threaten Moldova's neutrality. [OSCE/ Flickr]

Moldova’s President-elect, Socialist Igor Dodon, has reiterated his opposition to plans to open a NATO Liaison Office in the country’s capital of Chișinău, according to Moldovan media. EURACTIV Romania reports.

At a press conference today (6 December), Dodon said that the authorities had deliberately delayed the presidential elections and pushed back his investiture as head of state so that they could fast track a number of projects.

These plans allegedly include pension reforms, the appointment of a general prosecutor and the implementation of an agreement to open a NATO liaison office in the Moldovan capital.

The president-elect insisted that he is “completely against” this latter initiative.

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Last week, the government approved the project to open the local branch of the military alliance, causing a stir in the parliament, as the opposition Socialist and Communist parties maintain that such a move will jeopardise the country’s neutral status.

The agreement needs the parliament to ratify it and the president to support it.

Outgoing Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti welcomed the proposal and insisted that “nothing affects our country’s neutrality more than the illegal presence of Russian Federation armed forces on our national territory”.

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NATO will press allies today (26 October) to contribute to its biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War, as the alliance prepares for a protracted quarrel with Moscow.

Timofti, who will vacate his office within the month, added that the office would be “civilian, not a military base”, as claimed by Russian media.

The NATO office intends to identify areas where Moldova needs to reform its defence and security sectors.

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