Brussels, 27 October 2023 (TDI): NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Prime Minister Dorin Recean of the Republic of Moldova on Thursday in Brussels.

During the meeting, Stoltenberg expressed NATO’s steadfast commitment to supporting Moldova’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity.

During the meeting, Stoltenberg underscored the longstanding and strong relationship between Russia and NATO. He made it clear that NATO was calling on Russia to fully withdraw its forces from Moldovan territories.

Stoltenberg pointed out that Russia continually pressurizes Moldova through various means, including energy threats and the spreading of false information, to destabilize and weaken Moldova’s democracy.

He further highlighted that NATO’s member states unanimously agreed on bolstering NATO’s established practices and political partnership with Moldova. This partnership is a crucial step towards Moldova’s aspirations of European membership.

In addition, Stoltenberg expressed gratitude to Moldova for its collaboration in the KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. He also stressed the significance of maintaining stability in the Western Balkans and emphasized that it is important to all parties.

In response, the Moldovan Prime Minister revealed Moldova’s plans to enhance its defense capabilities. He expressed a desire for Moldova to participate in international peacekeeping missions and military exercises led by NATO which would contribute to Moldova’s ability to strengthen its defense capabilities.

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The political elites of the Transnistrian region of Moldova rejected the idea of joining Romania, instead drawing closer to Russia in the early 1990s. This decision caused war in 1992 and as a result, Transnistrian declared an independent state with the help of Russia.

Russia has maintained a strong influence in the region and since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there have been attempts by Russia to establish land corridors for its interests.

Previously Moldova’s President, Maia Sandu said that if Ukraine wins the war against Russia there might be an opportunity to resolve the conflict in Transnistria.