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 and is a public document.
- 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.
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. 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.
The DCB package will be delivered in two phases. In phase one, which is currently underway, NATO is advising and assisting in the establishment of a national security strategy, national defence strategy, a military strategy and defence plans, a force structure for Moldova and capability requirements. NATO brings defence reform experts to the country on a frequent basis to assist the authorities as they develop these key political and strategic-level directions and guidance for the defence sector and the development of the armed forces. In phase two, NATO will continue to provide advice and will assist with specific elements of the transformation of Moldova’s armed forces and relevant institutions.
In parallel to these two phases of implementing Moldova’s DCB package, NATO has been providing support to Moldova in several specific areas, such as cyber defence, defence education, building integrity and the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
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 has 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 UNSCR 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. This Resolution 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. With the support of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Moldova has developed its first multi-agency National Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1325, which was approved by the government in March 2018.
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 were buried or scattered around the country and posed increasingly high risks to the population and the environment. The aim of the Trust Fund was to dispose of 1,269 tonnes of pesticides and dangerous chemicals, which had been repacked and centralised under previous projects. The last batch was evacuated in June 2018, thereby successfully completing the project. A closing ceremony took place on 28 June in the town of Singerei in the presence of Moldovan and NATO officials.
The total cost of the project was Euro 2.2 million, covered through a NATO Trust Fund which garnered contributions from 18 NATO Allies and partners. It was part of a three-phase NATO/Partnership Trust Fund initiative developed by NATO and the Moldovan Ministry of Defence in cooperation with other international organisations.
Civil emergency planning is another area of 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 SPS Programme. In addition to support for UNSCR 1325, current cooperation focuses in particular on defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, cyber defence and counter-terrorism.
As part of the DCB Initiative, the SPS Programme supported a multi-year project to provide Moldova with a cyber defence laboratory at the Technical University of Moldova. Inaugurated in October 2016 and equipped with SPS support, the laboratory serves as a research and training centre for civil servants of Moldovan government institutions, as well as for young scientists and students of the university. Building on this work, another SPS multi-year project launched in February 2018 aims to develop cyber defence capabilities for the Moldovan Armed Forces to address sophisticated and emerging cyber threats that may affect the military computer information systems’ functionality, security of services and critical infrastructure.
Another multi-year project focuses on developing a capability to counter threats posed by infectious biological agents, including anthrax, through setting up a mobile biological laboratory and training experts to enhance early detection and rapid response. In addition, a project launched in January 2018 is developing an innovative control framework for the management of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) specifically deployed to support counter-terrorism missions in urban environments.
Moldova and NATO aim to improve public awareness of an