Joint press point

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Pavel Filip

  • 29 Nov. 2016 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 30 Nov. 2016 10:57

(As delivered)

Good afternoon Prime Minister Pavel Filip,

You are really warmly welcome to NATO Headquarters and it’s good to see you here and it’s good also to have had this opportunity to meet with you and to address the strong partnership between the Republic of Moldova and NATO.

The Republic of Moldova has been a close partner to NATO for several years and NATO Allies continue to support the independence, the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova. And I would like to personally thank you for the strong contribution of the Republic of Moldova to NATO’s operation, NATO’s peace-keeping mission in Kosovo.  This promotes peace and stability in Europe. That’s important for NATO and it’s important for the Republic of Moldova. So we are very grateful for your contribution to KFOR and NATO’s presence in Kosovo. We will continue to involve you closely in the decisions shaping our mission and we look forward to continue to work with you in Kosovo.

We have just had an excellent discussion on how to strengthen our partnership, how to strengthen it even more. In the past years, we have stepped up dialogue and practical cooperation with the Republic of Moldova. NATO Allies are supporting your defence reforms and helping to strengthen your armed forces. We are also providing practical support in the area of cyber defences. And we are destroying dangerous chemicals that threaten the lives and livelihoods of Moldovans. 

Today, we took an important step forward.  We just signed an agreement that will pave the way for the establishment of a NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau. This office will help promote practical cooperation, practical cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and NATO. It will allow us to better support your reforms. And it will allow us to communicate more clearly what NATO is, and the support we can provide. So the new NATO Liaison Office will be important for our political support but also for our practical support for the Republic of Moldova. This is a small, civilian office - not a military base. It is about cooperation, not about imposing NATO priorities or membership on Moldova. We stand by the right of all countries to make their own foreign and security policy choices. NATO fully respects Moldova’s neutrality. In fact, many of our closest partners are neutral countries. Sweden and Finland are two close partners of NATO, they are neutral. The Republic of Moldova is a close partner of NATO, you are also neutral and of course we respect that neutrality. Through cooperation with NATO, the Republic of Moldova can make its armed forces even more professional, and make a stronger contribution to peace in Europe.

Prime Minister,

NATO fully supports a stable, secure and prosperous Moldova. It is important that Moldova remains committed to the implementation of reforms that benefit all its citizens. And that it remains committed to the values shared by European democracies.

So Prime Minister, once again thank you for coming here and thank you for signing the letters together with me today and thank you for being so committed to strengthening the partnership we have developed over so many years. So welcome. Please, you have the floor.

[...] Prime Minister Pavel Filip speaks [...]

OANA LUNGESCU (NATO Spokesperson): We’ll start with Moldova One, yeah.

Q: Speaking in foreign language.

INTERPRETER: (inaudible) Journalist (inaudible).

Q: Secretary General, congratulations for this treaty between NATO and Moldova and I’d like to ask what will be the main task, the main prerogatives for this NATO office in Chisinau? Speaking in foreign language.

INTERPRETER: Sir you know very well there are many speculations regarding cooperation between NATO and Moldova regarding the status of neutrality, integration, not integration in NATO. Don’t you think that it will be opportunistic that a document should be signed in the near future that should include EPOP (sic) and other projects where it should be stipulated a statute of each part of the agreement concrete fields of cooperation etc? Thank you.

JENS STOLTENBERG (NATO Secretary General): NATO liaison office in the Republic of Moldova will be an important platform, an important tool for strengthening the political dialogue and the practical cooperation between NATO and Moldova and this will be important for implementing the different programs and activities we have agreed upon as part of our partnership program and it will also be, of course, a platform for direct political dialogue. It will also be a tool that we can use to help the Republic of Moldova implement reforms to modernize its armed forces and to continue to strengthen and develop the, the different security and defense institutions where we work together on implementing reforms. It is a small civilian office, it’s not a military base and it’s not a tool to impose NATO priorities or NATO membership on the republic of Moldova.  So, this is an office which actually aims at strengthening the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the independence of the Republic of Moldova, based on the fact that we fully respect the neutrality and the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova. So I think this will be an important step forward in our cooperation and I hope that we will be able to inaugurate the office next year and that will be yet another step in the cooperation and the partnership we have developed.

PAVEL FILIP (Prime Minister of Republic of Moldova): Speaking in foreign language.

INTERPRETER: Cooperation with NATO will increase in the future years and we need a good and quality communication in this regard. You know very well the surveys that have been done in the Republic of Moldova how popular NATO is amongst the population of the Republic of Moldova and from this point of view we need a very good communication in Chisinau, we need we don’t need propaganda and this liaison office is not done against something, but is done for something, for good communication, for talking about beneficial things that Republic of Moldova will have after this liaison office will be created in Chisinau and another very important thing is not to forget that we are in the 21st century and the national army of the Republic of Moldova, although it is not too big, it should become a modern army so as to correspond to the times, modern times.

INTERPRETER: Zero National (sic).

Q: Nicoli Neggro, Zero National (sic). First question to Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg I want, would, like to say about if our government do everything to enhance defense and security capabilities in context of Russian threat on Republic of Moldova?

JENS STOLTENBERG: We work with the Republic of Moldova to provide practical and political support and we provide practical support in the area of defense reform and that is to strengthen the capabilities, the strength of the armed forces of Moldova, and that’s of course one way to also strengthen the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova. We also clearly welcome the efforts of the government to implement reforms because the Republic of Moldova needs to invest more in defense, but, also to spend the money that you invest in defense in a better way, so we need both reforms and stronger or more investments in defense. Then as I said many times, the Republic of Moldova is a sovereign nation. We strongly support the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and for us it is also absolutely clear that we should respect the international recognized borders of the Republic of Moldova because that is a key message from NATO in all issues like, for instance, the conflict we see in Transnistria, where we see the the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Moldova is undermined. So NATO supports the peaceful and lasting resolution of all frozen conflicts in Europe and NATO allies fully respect and call on all to respect Moldova’s territorial independence, integrity and sovereignty and NATO allies do not, and will not, recognize Transnistria. We recognize the Republic of Moldova within its international recognized borders.

INTERPRETER: Okay go ahead.

Q: I don’t (inaudible) the Prime Minister.

INTERPRETER: Mr. Prime Minister are you signing this agreement after we know the results of the Presidential elections? Mr. President elect has a different vision regarding our relations with NATO, do you have the certainty that the Parliament will ratify this agreement and that the President will promulgate this agreement and what will happen if the President will refuse to promulgate this agreement?

INTERPRETER: I am glad that this electoral campaign is over in the Republic of Moldova and we have a President elect. I hope very much that, as a politician said, we are making political campaign and poetry but when we come to governing we do texts, pros, so we hope that after the electoral campaign is over we will start to govern in the mutual interests of all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. I would like to mention that my visit here to Brussels I brought a very important message to the European Union officials, despite the results of the Presidential elections that took place in Chisinau, Moldova remains determined to implement the Association Agreement. There are things that the Parliamentary majority will not, will not step away from. Here we are talking about the Association Agreement and the DSFTA. With the, with utmost serious involvement that we undertook to implement the reforms in front of the European Union and we, when we managed to have an agreement with the IMF, for which we did a tremendous work exactly when we signed this agreement to open the liaison office in the Republic of Moldova, we did this with utmost certainty that this liaison office will be open in Chisinau, and that the Parliament will ratify and the President will promulgate this agreement. We assure you of this thing and in the end I would like to mention that, we will be even more determined, and as I mentioned answering the previous question, the Republic of Moldova has the need, has a need and a better communication, we need to communicate not only about NATO topics but about all the problems that are discussed in this society.

INTERPRETER: Thank you very much this concludes this press point. Thank you.