NATO’s relations with the Republic of Moldova

  • Last updated 27-Oct-2010 16:53

NATO and the Republic of Moldova actively cooperate on democratic, institutional and defence reforms, and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. The country’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out its programme of cooperation with NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Chiril Gaburici

Moldova is seeking to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions. The extent of NATO-Moldova cooperation ultimately depends on the country’s willingness to continue its democratic reform process and strengthen its existing democratic institutions.

Framework for cooperation

Areas of cooperation, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in the Republic of Moldova’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed with NATO for a two-year period.  Key areas of cooperation include the preparation of strategic documents for reform, defence planning and budgeting and enhancing military education and training in Moldova.

Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Moldova is to develop the ability of the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion’s forces to work together with forces from NATO countries, especially in crisis-management and peacekeeping operations, and to develop a new training programme for the armed forces.

Moldova also works alongside NATO Allies and Partner countries in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).

Key areas of cooperation

Security cooperation

Through regular participation in PfP training exercises, Moldova has taken steps to bring elements of its forces closer to full interoperability with Allied forces. Moldova has declared a range of units available for PfP activities, on a case-by-case basis. Five Moldovan helicopters currently support the UN mission in Afghanistan.

Moldova has also made a military airfield and other training facilities available for PfP activities and hosted a number of PfP exercises.

Moldova contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T).  This includes cooperation with the Allies on enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border and infrastructure security.

Work on enhancing military education and training in Moldova is focused on the Military Institute and the Peacekeeping Training Centre, both of which have been visited by, and are working closely with, NATO experts.

NATO has no direct role in the conflict resolution process in the region of Transdniestria. However, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has stated that the Alliance’s position remains that all the Istanbul commitments made by Russia must be fulfilled, including regarding the removal of Russian weapons and ammunition stored in the Transdniestria region.

Defence and security sector reform

Defence and security sector reforms are core areas of cooperation. NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise which Moldova can draw upon in this area. NATO supports the wider democratic and institutional and judicial reform process underway in Moldova.

In consultation with NATO, Moldova is developing strategic documents on defence and security sector reform.  These documents are necessary for the conduct of a Strategic Defence Review.  Consultations are also underway on the steps needed for establishing a transparent defence planning and budgeting system which will be key tools for the conduct and implementation of the Strategic Defence Review.

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 the Allies. Moldovan 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 has agreed to train and develop designated units to achieve full interoperability with NATO and other Partner forces.  These units could be made available for NATO peace-support operations.  The Operational Capabilities Concept supports this process.

Civil emergency planning

For Moldova, civil emergency planning is a priority area for cooperation with the Allies. 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 working to establish a civil crisis information system to coordinate activities in the event of an emergency.

Science and environment

Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Moldova has received grant awards for about 18 cooperative projects. Projects include seismic risk reduction studies and river monitoring activities.  

Moldova aims to increase scientific cooperation. Key areas for development could be research into counter-terrorism, the removal of dangerous chemicals, and reducing the risk and impact of environmental radiological contamination.

A Partnership for Peace Trust Fund has helped to ensure the identification and repackaging of some 1200 tonnes of dangerous chemicals and fertilizers. The focus will now shift to the destruction of these substances.

Public information

Moldova and NATO aim to improve public awareness of and access to information on NATO and the benefits of NATO-Moldova cooperation. With the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, an Information and Documentation Centre on NATO was inaugurated at the Chisinau State University in October 2007. NATO also supports Moldova in improving the training of public information specialists within the country’s armed forces.

Evolution of relations

NATO relations with the Republic of Moldova date back to 1992, when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997). Relations expanded when Moldova joined the Partnership for Peace programme in 1994. The focus on supporting the country’s domestic reform process has intensified since its first Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO was agreed in 2006.

Key milestones :
1992 Moldova joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997.
1994 Moldova joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP).
1997 Moldova joins the PfP Planning and Review Process.
2002 A Moldovan platoon participates in a civil emergency relief exercise in Russia with Allies and Partner countries.
2005 Moldova hosts a PfP Civil Protection Committee plenary meeting in September.
  President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in June
2006 Moldova agrees its first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO.
  Moldova hosts the PfP training exercises ”Cooperative Longbow” and ”Cooperative Lancer”.
  President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in June
2007 IPAP assessment identifies areas of progress and issues to be addressed.
  President Voronin visits NATO Headquarters in December.
2008 Moldova hosts the ‘South Caucasus and Moldova Clearing House’ event, which coordinates Allied and Partner assistance programmes
  The NATO Secretary General visits Moldova, holding talks with President Voronin, the Foreign and Defence Ministers – as well as giving a speech at Chisinau University and visiting the Information Centre on NATO.