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What is the fuss around US aid for Moldova’s Army?

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An article published this week by Russia Today reported that US Navy is going to build “military objects” at Moldova’s Bulboaca training base which would be used to train troops for an eventual attack against the closely-located breakaway Transnistria. The article could have been ignored as another attempt of disinformation aimed at the public opinion, but it was not the case.

The infamous, non-grata Russian Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, even shared the piece on his Facebook profile, reinforcing the claim that the Americans are starting the training of special troops of RM (Republic of Moldova) for the case of another armed conflict with Transnistria. Commenting for RT, Moldovan President, Igor Dodon promised to check the information on US plans in Bulboaca. Later, he announced he would visit the base on August 14th to clarify the state of the things, adding that he would not accept the Moldovan soldiers to be pieces of any military camp.

Clarification

Moldovan Ministry of Defense had nothing but to dissipate the disinformation spread by RT. In a press-release, it clarified that since 2012 Moldova benefits from a $1,6 million grant for infrastructure modernization of Bulboaca Military Training Base, as a partner within the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). Moreover, Defense Ministry stressed out that the US funds from GPOI were used to improve the training of Moldovan 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion for participating in UN peacekeeping missions- activities that are not connected with NATO and that do not affect Moldova’s neutrality.

On August 10th, the US Ambassador to Moldova, H.E. James Pettit, paid a visit to Bulboaca base to reconfirm the American interest in improving the peacekeeping capacities of Moldovan National Army and to check how GPOI funds are being spent. Together with deputy chief of National Army General Staff, Colonel Eduard Ohladciuc, Pettit visited the multifunctional target range, the two shooting ranges and the three barracks- all part of the first stage of the project. The officials also went to see the base staff headquarters and the tactical town used for practical training (now under renovation).

According to the US Embassy in Moldova, the United States has already invested $1,1 million to improve training areas and roads in Bulboaca, and anticipates investing at least another $1,2 million.

What about the $12,7 million for Army modernization?

Furthermore, Pettit responded to questions arisen after the recent declaration of former Defense Minister Anatol Șalaru on US cancelling the $12,7 million aid to the National Army because of President Dodon blocking Moldova’s participation in international exercises.

Speaking of the Foreign Military Financing to Moldova, Pettit declared that the funds were rather suspended, not canceled:

“The financial assistance was not suspended at all. Unfortunately, we have noticed that the National Army did not participate in military exercises abroad this year”, the American diplomat said.

“…There is only a break in equipment supply, because we need to make a clear plan on future participation of the National Army in exercises abroad. I hope that the army will participate and this is going to happen soon”added Pettit, but did not answer what would happen if President Dodon will continue to make Moldova’s army not attend international exercises.

In February 2017, as commander-in-chief, President Igor Dodon refused to sign the decree of deployment of Moldovan troops to Platinum Eagle 2017, an exercise in Romania involving soldiers from Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Slovenia, Romania (NATO), and non-NATO Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. Dodon then motivated the refusal to allow deployment of troops to the joint exercise with the lack of an approved Defense Minister and lack of arguments in favor of the participation.

Meanwhile, Defense ex-Minister Șalaru announced he would submit a penal complaint against Dodon for undermining the national defense system of Moldova by scaring $12,7 million off with refusals to participate in regional military exercises.

What happens with the American aid for the Moldovan army will probably be clearer after Dodon visits Bulboaca Training Base on August 14th.

***

Note:

  • The National Army of Moldova has been participating in international peacekeeping missions since 1997, with a total of almost 300 officers and NCOs in Iraq, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Georgia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Kosovo.
  • Established in 2005, GPOI is the U.S. contribution to the G8 Action Plan to improve international peacekeeping operations. Since 1997, the GPOI program and its predecessor programs have trained national forces of over 53 nations for international peace operations.

Correspondent reporter of Moldova.org Focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Eastern Partnership. Inquiries at [email protected]

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PM Pavel Filip wasn’t present at the investiture ceremony of the new Ukrainian President

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More senior state leaders and senior officials were invited to the investiture ceremony of the new President of Ukraine. Among them were Prime Minister Pavel Filip, who wasn’t there, writes ZdG.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the PM was missing from the Kiev ceremony for “health reasons”, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs himself, Tudor Ulianovschi, was represented at the ceremony in Moldova.

Several Heads of State were present at Zelenski’s investiture, but Igor Dodon wasn’t among them. However, Dodon had a telephone conversation with Zelenski as a result of which he might have agreed to hold a bilateral meeting.

Photo source: Investing.com UK

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This is Igor Dodon’s reply after Constitutional Court’s decision that the president can not submit a candidate for the post of PM

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President Igor Dodon believes that the election of the Parliament leadership is the only way to overcome the political crisis in the country.

The statement was made for the Russian news agency TASS after the Constitutional Court’s decision that the President of the Republic of Moldova can not submit a candidate to the post of PM in the absence of Parliament’s governing bodies.

“I have mentioned that if until mid-June the governing bodies of the legislature will not be established, I will have to sign the decree of dissolving the Parliament and appointing the date of organizing early parliamentary elections,” warns President Dodon on his Facebook page.

The president stressed that this scenario “is not good” for Moldova, given the risks of stopping investment projects in infrastructure, the emergence of risks in the budgetary system, postponing the creation of the Government and conducting local elections.

We recall that according to the decision of the CC, the impossibility of meeting the Parliament because of the lack of the organ convening it implies the impossibility of the President of the Republic of Moldova to appoint a candidate for the post of PM.

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23 foreign citizens registered files in order to obtain Moldovan citizenship through investments

Until now, one person who has applied to the program has already obtained the passport of the Republic of Moldova, the announcement which was made today at a press conference by the Deputy Director of the Public Service Agency (ASP), Iulia Petuhov, an institution that implements Moldova’s Citizenship Acquisition Program through investments.

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Iulia Petuhova refused to provide information about the countries from which the files were filed, but stated that they wanted to obtain the citizenship in order to benefit from the investment opportunities offered by our country and to develop their business in Moldova.

Please note that the program to obtain citizenship in return for investment was approved in 2018 by the Government. The authorities then said they hoped to attract at least €1,300,000 over the next 5 years.

According to the program, a foreign investor can acquire the citizenship of Moldova if he transfers at least €100,000 or €250,000 in a strategic business area to the Sustainable Development Fund. The program is promoted by an international consortium selected in an open competition. The consortium includes MIC Holding LLC, Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd, Henley & Partners Government Services Ltd, and Henley & Partners International Ltd.

The authorities have promised that Moldova’s citizenship through investments will only be granted to applicants who “meet the best international standards”.

“These Moldovan citizens of the Republic of Moldova will certainly not be EU citizens because they have no reason to invest in a corrupted economy.” – Maia Sandu

Reminder: The law was criticized by the MPs of the ACUM opposition bloc that declared they pose major risks to state security and citizens’ safety. Previously, Maia Sandu said that Moldovan citizens of the Republic of Moldova will certainly not be EU citizens because they have no reason to invest in a corrupted economy.

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