Joint press statements
by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon
Welcome to the NATO Headquarters. It’s a great pleasure to meet with you here. And this is not your first visit to NATO, but it is your first visit to this new building.
And thank you so much for the very positive and constructive discussion today.
The Republic of Moldova is a close partner to NATO. Our partnership has grown over more than 25 years. We are working together for the mutual benefit of Moldova and NATO. I was encouraged to hear from Prime Minister Maia Sandu during our recent meeting, that Moldova is committed to continuing our cooperation.
And let me thank you for Moldova’s reliable contribution to our KFOR mission in Kosovo. This supports peace and stability in the Western Balkans. It gives Moldovan troops valuable practical experience to defend their own country. And it shows that Moldova is a responsible contributor to international security. And you can be proud of your soldiers.
I also commend you on the peaceful transition of power in your country. Based on dialogue and compromise. And on firm commitment to democratic values. We encourage you to continue to implement reforms that benefit your people.
So Mr. President, NATO fully supports and respects Moldova’s constitutional neutrality, and fully supports its independence and its sovereignty. It is clearly spelled out on the first page of our jointly agreed and publicly available framework document – the Individual Partnership Action Plan.
We know that Moldova has no desire to join NATO and we respect that decision entirely. We firmly believe that every nation has the right to set its own course. This includes choosing their own allies, or choosing not to align with any other countries.
But neutrality does not mean isolation, or that we cannot work together. NATO works closely with other neutral countries – such as Switzerland and Austria.
NATO is helping Moldova build strong institutions and good governance. NATO is also helping improve good governance in your armed forces. Including through a Defence Capability Building Package. And, with NATO’s help, Moldova has now a strong professional military education system. Hundreds of Moldovan citizens obtained Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees, or followed other professional courses.
NATO is also helping Moldova improve its expertise and defence against cyber-attacks. Destroy dangerous chemicals, including banned pesticides. And develop advanced telemedicine so that first responders can get the best advice in an emergency.
This contributes to improving the lives of Moldovan citizens. Enhances Moldova’s capacity to defend itself against any attack.
And helps your country be safer and more secure.
Our NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau has been actively helping us to implement our support to Moldova. And increase transparency about what NATO is and how we are cooperating with Moldova.
NATO fully supports a stable and secure Moldova. And we want to see stability and prosperity in your country. It is important that Moldova continues its democratic reforms. Notably on fighting corruption and strengthening the judiciary. And it is important that Moldova remains committed to the values shared by all European democracies. You can count on NATO’s ongoing commitment to support your country.
So once again it was a great pleasure to meet you today. To discuss how we can further strengthen the partnership and cooperation between NATO and Moldova. And once again, welcome to NATO.