Relations with the Republic of Moldova
Moldova contributes to the NATO-led operation in Kosovo and cooperates with the Allies and other partner countries in many other areas. Support for the country’s reform efforts and for capacity -building in the defence and security sector is a priority.
- Moldova is constitutionally neutral but seeks to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions.
- Relations with NATO started when Moldova joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1992) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme(1994).
- The country’s programme of cooperation with NATO is set out in an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is agreed every two years
- At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, Allied leaders offered to strengthen support, advice and assistance to Moldova through the new Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative.
- Moldova has contributed troops to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) since March 2014.
More background information
Through participation in Partnership for Peace (PfP) training and exercises, Moldova is developing the ability of the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion’s forces to work together with forces from other countries, especially in crisis management and peacekeeping operations. These units could be made available for NATO peace support operations. In March 2014, over 40 Moldovan troops were deployed in support of the NATO-led peace-support operation in Kosovo, comprising an infantry manoeuvre platoon and an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team.
Moldova contributes to the fight against terrorism through cooperation with the Allies on enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border and infrastructure security.
NATO has no direct role in the conflict resolution process in the region of Transnistria. However, NATO closely follows developments in the region and the Alliance fully expects Russia to abide by its international obligations, including respecting the territorial integrity and political freedom of neighbouring countries.
Defence and security sector reform
Defence and security sector reforms are core areas of cooperation in which NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that Moldova can draw upon. The Allies also support the wider democratic, institutional and judicial reform process underway in the country.
At the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, Moldova was invited to take part in the newly launched Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative, which offers expert advice and assistance to interested partners. The DCB Initiative aims to reinforce support for partners in the current security environment, helping the Alliance to project stability without deploying large combat forces, as part of NATO’s overall contribution to international security and stability, and conflict prevention. Based on the request received from the Moldovan authorities, a tailored package of measures was endorsed by NATO defence ministers in June 2015 to assist in strengthening and modernising the country’s armed forces and reforming its national security structures.
NATO and individual Allies continue to assist Moldova in creating modern, mobile, high-readiness, well-equipped and cost-effective forces that are interoperable with those of other countries. The country’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1997 is instrumental in this process. Key reform projects include improving command and control structures, military logistics, personnel management, training and strengthening Moldova’s border patrol capabilities.
Moldova’s participation in the Operational Capabilities Concept also supports the country’s objective to train and develop designated units to achieve full interoperability.
Work on enhancing military education and training in Moldova is focused on the Military Academy and its Continuous Training Centre – an accredited Partnership Training and Education Centre – both of which are working closely with NATO experts. Moldova has received advice on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain through NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme.
Moldova is also participating in the Building Integrity (BI) Programme. The defence ministry completed the NATO BI Self-Assessment and Peer Review Process in January 2016. The ministry receives tailor-made assistance and advice for strengthening integrity, accountability, transparency and good governance in the defence and security sector.
The country is also working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security.
Trust Fund for the destruction and storage of pesticides
A NATO Trust Fund mechanism was set up in Moldova in 2007 to channel funding and support to a project aimed at the destruction and proper storage of surplus stocks of old pesticides and dangerous chemicals, which are buried or scattered around the country and pose increasingly high risks to the population and the environment. The Trust Fund aims to dispose of 1,269 tonnes of pesticides and dangerous chemicals, which were repacked and centralised under previous projects. By the summer of 2016, 635 tonnes of pesticides have been destroyed and nine of 15 regional central storages have been cleaned.
Civil emergency planning
For Moldova, civil emergency planning is a priority area for cooperation. Through participation in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Moldova is developing its national civil emergency and disaster management capabilities. In consultation with the Allies, the country is also working on enhancing the legal framework for coping with such emergencies and on establishing a civil crisis information system to coordinate activities in the event of an emergency.
Science for Peace and Security Programme
Moldova is an active participant in the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme. Current cooperation focuses in particular on defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents, and also includes activities on cyber defence, counter-terrorism and border security. As part of the Defence Capacity Building Initiative, the SPS Programme is supporting a project to provide Moldova with a cyber laboratory that will later serve as a training centre mainly for the civil servants of relevant defence and security institutions. Another major SPS project focuses on developing a capability to counter threats posed by biological agents, such as anthrax. The project includes training components, the set-up of a mobile laboratory, statistical sampling and mapping, as well as the remediation of a selected pilot area. In addition, Moldovan experts are co-leading in workshops on the threats of foreign fighters and border security challenges in Eastern Europe.
Moldova and NATO aim to improve public awareness of and access to information on NATO and the benefits of cooperation with the Alliance. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division supports the activities of the Information and Documentation Centre (IDC) on NATO. NATO also supports Moldova in improving the training of public information specialists within the country’s armed forces.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Moldova is the embassy of Poland.
Areas of cooperation, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed with NATO for a two-year period. Key areas of cooperation include support for wide-ranging reforms, assistance with the preparation of strategic documents, defence planning and budgeting, developing the interoperability of elements of the armed forces, and enhancing military education and training in Moldova.
Moldova also cooperates with NATO and other partner countries in a wide range of other areas through the PfP programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).
1992: Moldova joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later succeeded by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in 1997).
1994: Moldova joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
1997: Moldova joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP).
May 2006: Moldova agrees its first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO.
September 2006: Moldova hosts the PfP training exercises Cooperative Longbow and Cooperative Lancer.
31 January 2007: Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan and Defence Minister Valeriu Plesca brief the North Atlantic Council on the reform process in their country during a visit to NATO.
July 2007: Phase I of a project for the destruction of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals is completed, centralising stocks in regional central storages.
October 2007: The Information and Documentation Centre on NATO is inaugurated.
31 July 2008: The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) receives an urgent request from Moldova and Ukraine to help them cope with major floods.
30 October 2008: The NATO Secretary General visits Moldova for talks with President Vladimir Voronin and key ministers, as well as to give a speech at and visit the Information and Documentation Centre on NATO at Chisinau State University.
2010: Phase II of a project for the destruction of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals is completed, resulting in the set-up of a lab to analyse the chemical stockpiles.
10 February 2010: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leancă and Defence Minister Vitalie Marinuta address the North Atlantic Council.
20 August 2010: A new IPAP is agreed, which the Moldovan authorities subsequently decide to release to the public for the first time.
July 2011: Defence Minister Vitalie Marinuta and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Popov address the North Atlantic Council.
August 2011: Moldova hosts the EADRCC exercise Codrii 2011.
27 March 2012: Prime Minister Filat visits NATO Headquarters and meets the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council.
July 2013: Phase III of the project for the destruction of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals is launched, aiming to destroy 950 tonnes of chemicals.
10 February 2014: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes Moldova’s commitment to increase political dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance, in talks with Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman at NATO Headquarters.
May 2014: NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow pays a three-day visit to Moldova.
September 2014: At the Wales Summit, Moldova is invited to take part in the newly launched Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative, which offers expert advice and assistance to interested partners.
16 March 2015: Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici visits NATO for talks with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on strengthening the partnership.
June 2015: The NATO Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee pays a two-day visit to Moldova for talks on deepening cooperation and dialogue.
24 June 2015: NATO defence ministers endorse a package of measures under the DCB Initiative to help Moldova enhance its defence and security institutions.
8-9 July 2016: At the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the Allies underline their support for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova as well as for efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the South Caucasus, as well as in the Republic of Moldova. They also express their continued commitment to help project stability by working with individual partners, including Moldova, to build their defence and security capacities.
29 November 2016: Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip visits NATO HQ for discussions on how to strengthen the country’s partnership with NATO. He and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sign an agreement to pave the way for the establishment of a NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau, which will help promote practical cooperation and improve support for reforms and capacity building.