30 Nov 2022 17:37

Moldova not seeking to join NATO but needs partnership with it - FM

CHISINAU. Nov 30 (Interfax) - Moldova is remaining a neutral country and is not planning to join NATO, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said.

"Moldova is a neutral country, in line with its Constitution, and does not intend to join NATO. But neutrality does not imply self-isolation, demilitarization, and indifference to what is happening in the world," Popescu said at a press conference in Bucharest.

"We are interested in strengthening our country's stability, including through partnership with NATO," Popescu said.

"There have been no discussions on renouncing our neutrality status either at the level of the parliamentary majority or the government, and there has been no initiative on revising the constitution," he said.

However, such discussions have taken place within civil society, Popescu said. "There have been statements from lawmakers on the need to find the best way to ensure our security. However, these discussions have not been transformed into a political process for now," he said.

Such discussions have been prompted by the fact that Moldovan society feels the implications of the events in Ukraine and "is scared of what may happen to an independent democratic state," he said.

"By our estimates, there is no imminent military threat to Moldova within the coming weeks and months," Popescu said. "However, the government is following the situation and preparing for any scenarios, both good and bad ones," he said.

"At present, the situation in Moldova is calm," he said.

At the same time, Popescu admitted that the developments in Ukraine are causing big problems for Moldova, affecting its economy, energy supply, stability of the power grid's operations, and security, as well as engendering the problem of refugees.

"Against this backdrop, Moldova needs friends to strengthen its own stability," he said.

As for Transdniestria, Chisinau "still adheres to a policy of peacefully settling the Transdniestrian conflict; in particular, we intend to make sure that the Russian troops are withdrawn through dialogue and diplomacy," Popescu said.

"We are in dialogue with the de facto Transdniestrian authorities. And we support everyone who lives within the internationally recognized Moldovan borders," Popescu said.

Popescu gave his press conference on the sidelines of a meeting of the NATO foreign policy chiefs in Bucharest on November 29-30. This was the first time a Moldovan delegation took part in such a meeting.