“We should never forget that the Republic of Moldova faces direct military threats and risks. We must take into account the presence of foreign troops on the territory of the Republic of Moldova that have stayed illegally here for years. Furthermore, we must take into consideration the existence of forces comparable with the National Army, which are managed by a self-styled regime,” ex-minister of defense Viorel Cibotarul stated in the talk show “Important” on TV 21 channel.
Moldova assumed obligations towards the international community and the own people by signing the UN Charter in 1991, undertaking to take all the measures to defend the own territory and to ensure collective peace. “After 2014, when the risks of military aggression against the Republic of Moldova increased in number and the security environment became much more difficult and dangerous owing to particular events happening around us, the national security and defense of the Republic of Moldova became very important,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.
He noted that during a rather long period of time, the authorities and society ignored the defense system and when the army was necessary, this could not fulfill its constitutional duties in the situation created in 2014.
The former minister said the first stage of building the defense system (1990-1997) was rather difficult. The model of Denmark – a not very large army consisting of brigades - was adopted. In 2002, the security and defense systems started to be reformed and relevant policy documents and strategies were approved.
“The reform of 2002 wasn’t brought to an end, but the then Communist government realized the geopolitical realities and started a strategic dialogue with the U.S. and NATO. This meant new approaches and tendencies that ended with the adoption of the National Security Concept in 2008 and the National Security Strategy in 2011,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.
The role of the Western partners in supporting the military reform in the Republic of Moldova grew after 2009, especially after 2014.
According to Viorel Cibotaru, the principle of neutrality does not work in Moldova’s case because it is not accepted by one of the strategic partners – the Russian Federation. Only NATO and the EU respect it.