Relations with the Republic of Moldova
Moldova cooperates with NATO on a range of issues. The main focus of NATO’s cooperation with Moldova is to support the country’s efforts to reform and modernise its defence and security structures and institutions. Moldova is also a valued contributor to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the President (then Prime Minister) of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, at NATO Headquarters in 2019.
- Moldova is constitutionally neutral but seeks to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions. NATO fully respects Moldova’s constitutional neutrality.
- Relations with NATO started in 1992, when Moldova joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.
- Bilateral cooperation started when Moldova joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. The focus on support for reform has increased progressively since 2006, when the country agreed its first two-year Individual Partnership Action Plan.
- 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 Initiative. A tailored package of measures was agreed in June 2015.
- At the request of the Moldovan government, a civilian NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau was established in December 2017 to promote practical cooperation and facilitate support for the country’s reforms.
- Moldova has contributed troops to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) since March 2014.
- NATO has no direct role in the conflict resolution process in the region of Transnistria. However, the Allies closely follow developments in the region. Russia must abide by its international obligations, including respecting the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries and their right to choose their own security agreements.
Key areas of cooperation
Moldova’s cooperation with NATO is mutually beneficial and includes:
Building capabilities and interoperability
- NATO provides tailored support for Moldova’s defence reform and modernisation efforts through the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) and, since 2015, with assistance under the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative.
- Through the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP), NATO provides advice on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions to help Moldova build a professional military education system, with university degrees and specialised courses offered by Moldova’s Military Academy, its Continuous Training Centre and the Non-Commissioned Officers School.
- Through the Building Integrity (BI) programme, NATO provides Moldova with strategic-level advice on strengthening good governance and reducing the risk of corruption in its defence and security sector. Moldova benefits from a tailored package of BI capacity-building activities and training and education to civilian and military staff, including in the context of pre-deployment preparation for Moldova’s participation in United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and NATO-led operations and missions.
- Increasing the interoperability of the Moldovan Armed Forces with the forces of NATO Allies and other partners is also a priority. Through a rigorous evaluation and feedback programme, the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) is assisting designated Moldovan units to achieve full interoperability and meet NATO standards, so that they can be made available for peacekeeping or crisis management operations.
- Since 2014, under the Partnership Interoperability Initiative, Moldova has participated in the Interoperability Platform, which brings Allies together with selected partners that are active contributors to NATO’s operations.
Support for NATO-led operations and missions
- Over 40 Moldovan troops, including an infantry manoeuvre platoon and an explosive ordnance disposal team, are deployed in support of the Kosovo Force (KFOR), where they are gaining further experience of working with Allies and other partners in the field.
- From 2007 to 2018, a NATO Trust Fund project helped Moldova safely dispose of 1,269 tonnes of banned pesticides and dangerous chemicals.
- Practical cooperation under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme has focused on activities pertaining to counter-terrorism; cyber defence; defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents; advanced technologies; and human and social aspects of security. With support from the NATO SPS Programme, a mobile biological laboratory was provided to the Moldovan Ministry of Health, a Cyber Incident Response Capability (CIRC) has been established within the Moldovan Ministry of Defence, a state-of-the-art cyber defence laboratory has been created at the Technical University of Moldova, and the first multi-agency National Action Plan (NAP) for Moldova for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was developed and adopted in March 2018.
- Moldova is developing its national civil emergency and disaster management capabilities through participation in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. Allies have also supported Moldova in establishing a civil crisis information system to coordinate the response of national authorities to emergencies. Moreover, through the Pandemic Response Trust Fund, Allies are supporting Moldova with a package of medical equipment and supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- NATO assists Moldova by providing support for the training of public information specialists within the country’s armed forces. Furthermore, the NATO Liaison Office plays an important role in providing public information on NATO and explaining the support being provided to Moldova.
- NATO also assists Moldova in updating and maintaining its Notified Current Force Structure (NCFS) for both the Vienna Document and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. This information is maintained in the VERITY system, which centralises the Treaty and Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) exchange data, making it easily accessible to Moldova and NATO Allies.