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Important29 June 2022 11:02

Ex-defense minister: We say we are neutral so as not to say we are coward and fearful

The EU candidate status should make the Republic of Moldova use much more firm rhetoric in its relations with the Russian Federation and help Ukraine more, said former minister of defense Anatol Șalaru. According to him, the merit of obtaining the candidate status belongs to Ukraine that heroically resists the Russian military aggression. For their part, representatives of the Ministry of Defense said the authorities are thoroughly analyzing the developments in the neighboring country, while Moldova should brace for a new wave of refugees if Odessa Oblast is attacked, IPN reports.

Ex-minister of Defense Anatol Șalaru said the visit paid by President Maia Sandu to Kyiv was long expected and this should lay the basis for a new friendly and good neighborly relationship between Moldova and Ukraine. The new status of Moldova implies the aligning with the European rhetoric with regard to Russia and the renouncing of the CIS status and the screen of neutrality.

“The Ukrainian side had long awaited this visit, but we hid behind neutrality and other problems, fearing that Russia would cut the gas supplies. The Ukrainians expressed their dissatisfaction with the Republic of Moldova, with the Moldovan government’s fear and cowardice. We hope that together with the obtaining of the candidate status, the rhetoric in Chisinau will change and more courage will be shown. We now need to act in unison with the European Union countries and should renounce this idiotic neutrality and the membership in the CIS. We obtained this status owing to Ukraine. If Ukraine hadn’t resisted, we wouldn’t have been granted the candidate status. I hope we will also offer significant support, as the EU states. Surely, we do not have money and armament for Ukraine, but we can ensure transit corridors. We say we are neutral so as not to say that we are coward and fearful,” Anatol Șalaru stated in the talk show “Emphasis on Today” on TVR Moldova channel.

Representatives of the Ministry of Defuse consider the risk of a Russian military attack on Moldova is for now reduced, but the subject of modernization and equipment of the National Army remains topical.

“We believe there are risks, but these are of low intensity at the moment as the armed forces of the Russian Federation are preoccupied with the eastern region Donbas. We are analyzing the logistical aspects and these make us believe that this risk is low. If Odessa and Nikolayev Oblasts are attacked, we can expect a wave of refugees of up to half a million. If we refer to the military component, it does not go to armament. We do not arm, but modernize ourselves. We have Soviet equipment made in the 1960-1070s and this is specific to the strategies of the 20th century, but the plan to modernize the National Army provides that the army will be re-equipped until 2030,” said secretary of state at the Ministry of Defense Valeriu Mija.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, approximately 475,000 refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine entered the Republic of Moldova and about 75,000 of them stopped in our country.

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