Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits Republic of Moldova
From 15 to 17 May 2023, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, visited the Republic of Moldova upon invitation of the Chief of National Army General Staff, Commander of the National Army, Brigadier General Eduard Ohladciuc. Admiral Bauer is the first Chair of the NATO Military Committee to visit Moldova. His visit builds on more than 30 years of cooperation between the NATO and the Republic of Moldova. During the visit, the Chair met with the Prime Minister of Moldova; the Minister of Defense; senior leaders from the General Staff of the National Army, as well as with other high-ranking officials from national institutions, including representatives of the Parliamentary Commission for National Security, Defense and Public Order.
The Chair of the NATO Military Committee was welcomed in Chisinau by Brigadier General Eduard Ohladciuc with an official military ceremony. This was followed by a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Anatolie Nosatîi, to discuss Moldova’s ongoing modernisation of the security and defence sector. In February 2023, Allies agreed to step up their practical support to improve Moldova’s defence and security capabilities, including through the enhanced Defence Capacity Building package.
At a joint press conference, Brigadier General Ohladciuc outlined the highlights of the longstanding partnership between NATO and Moldova. Through the Defence Education Enhancement Programme, NATO provides advice on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions. NATO helps Moldova build a professional military education system, with university degrees and specialised courses offered by Moldova’s Military Academy, Continuous Training Centre and the Non-Commissioned Officers School. 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 assists Moldovan units to achieve full interoperability and meet NATO standards, so that they can be made available for peacekeeping or crisis management operations.
Reciprocating the sentiment of gratitude and pride for the milestones attained so far, Admiral Bauer conveyed NATO’s full respect of Moldova’s constitutional neutrality. He commended the country for its dedication to promoting democracy and the rule of law. “NATO fully respects Moldova’s right to choose its own path. To make its own sovereign choices. And to determine its own future. These are fundamental rights that deserve universal respect. NATO is proud to be Moldova’s partner. And we look forward to build on our three decades on cooperation.”
Admiral Rob Bauer also conveyed this message in his talks with the Parliamentary Committee for National Security, Defense and Public Order. The conversation centered on the importance of continued partnership in an era of geostrategic shifts. The Chair made clear that tailored, demand-driven support for Moldova is high on NATO’s agenda.
Speaking with Moldovan Prime Minister, Dorin Recean, Admiral Bauer reemphasized NATO’s commitment to taking greater steps in upholding Moldova’s resilience and political independence. “Allies are ready to do what they can to strengthen Moldova’s resilience, across the whole of government and the whole of society. We gladly share our expertise because we believe that being neutral does not mean you should be defenceless or isolated”, he noted.
On the last day of the visit, Admiral Bauer delivered a lecture to students attending the Professional Development Program in the Security and Defence field at the Moldovan Military History and Science Agency, as well as several other civilian and military leaders. Addressing the audience, the Chair provided an overview of NATO’s response to a changing global security environment. Cooperation with Partners and enhancing interoperability is a key aspect of this. The Chair stipulated that Moldova has been actively contributing to NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since 2014. By deploying its troops, Moldova helps maintain safety and stability for the people there. And in turn receives valuable professional experience for their military.
Admiral Bauer was supported during his visit by the civilian NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau. This office was established in December 2017, at the request of the Moldovan government, to promote practical cooperation and facilitate support for the country's reforms.