Today: Sunday, 21 April 2024 year

The Ministry of Defense of Moldova said that Chisinau is not yet ready to join NATO.

The Ministry of Defense of Moldova said that Chisinau is not yet ready to join NATO.

Moldova at this stage is not ready to become a NATO member due to the poor equipment of the national army, said the head of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic, Anatoly Nosatiy.

Earlier, Moldovan President Maia Sandu, in an interview with Politico, said that the country should abandon neutrality in order to join a major military alliance. The newspaper noted that Sandu did not specifically mention NATO, but had previously repeatedly stated that the neutrality clause of the constitution could be revised if the population were in favor of rapprochement with the North Atlantic alliance.

“Firstly, President Sandu did not talk about NATO in this interview. There are other alliances, configurations, including at the regional level. Secondly, there is little desire to join NATO. This is a rather powerful military-political organization “to enter it, you need to carry out a number of reforms, modernize the army, introduce certain standards, contribute to the budget of the alliance. Let’s be honest: we are not ready at this stage to become a member of NATO, the equipment of the national army leaves much to be desired,” Nosatiy said commenting on the statements of the head of the republic.

The head of the Ministry of Defense of Moldova noted that the country needs new weapons. According to him, the changing situation in neighboring Ukraine requires a review of the needs of the defense sector of Moldova.

“Changes related to the military events in Ukraine are forcing us to reconsider the current state of the defense sector. Unfortunately, we cannot cope with all the challenges that exist now, and our status of neutrality has left us face to face with problems,” Nosatii said.

The minister stressed that he personally cannot advocate a change in the neutral status, but called on politicians to find an appropriate solution.

“I do not make decisions to change the neutral status, I represent the executive branch. The corresponding decision must be made by politicians, and the opinion of the citizens of the country must be taken into account. But as for increasing the defense budget, this should be done without regard to the desire to join any alliance . Moldova must have a strong army for defense,” Nosatii believes.

The Moldovan government has planned almost 1.7 billion lei (more than $87 million) for defense needs in 2023, which is 0.55% of the gross domestic product. For comparison, neighboring Romania, a member of NATO, will spend 2.5% of GDP on defense starting this year, its defense budget will exceed 7.5 billion euros.

According to the constitution, Moldova has a neutral status, but since 1994 it has been cooperating with NATO within the framework of an individual partnership plan. According to opinion polls, the majority of Moldovan citizens oppose the republic’s accession to NATO.