The Jamestown Foundation
Eurasia Daily Monitor
June 9, 2005

On June 7 in Brussels, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin addressed the North Atlantic Council (NAC, the main decision-making body of NATO) in ambassadorial session, as part of NATO-Moldova consultations within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. It was the first-ever official visit by a Moldovan president at NATO headquarters. Voronin handed to NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and to NAC a Moldovan proposal to advance from PfP to a deeper and closer relationship, an Individual Partnership Plan (IPAP) between Moldova and NATO.

In his speech to NAC, Voronin stated, “Despite an unfavorable geopolitical context, Moldova places a major stake on developing its relations with NATO and feels encouraged by the alliance’s open-door policy.” He declared Moldova’s goal of “joining a common security system in the Euro-Atlantic space” — a formulation that constitutes Moldova’s ultimate farewell to the “post-Soviet space.” Voronin also requested NATO assistance to advance the interoperability of selected Moldovan military units with NATO forces.

Pointing to the “unlawful presence of Russia’s troops on Moldova’s territory,” Voronin asked for NATO’s political support to achieve the “undelayed, unconditional, complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova.” He noted that the [Russia-dominated] “five-sided” format for negotiations on Transnistria and the [Russian-led] “peacekeeping” operation have long demonstrated their uselessness, “blocking the resolution of the conflict, which only serves to consolidate the separatist regime and to advance foreign geopolitical interests as well as those of organized crime.” Consequently, Voronin called for the United States, the European Union, and Romania to be included alongside Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE in the negotiating format; and for replacement of the existing Russian “peacekeeping” operation with an international, predominantly civilian mission of observers that should include the United States, EU, OSCE, and Ukraine among the participants.

In his meting with de Hoop Scheffer, Voronin inquired about possible technical and financial assistance from NATO for the evacuation or scrapping of Russian ammunition stockpiles in Transnistria and withdrawal of Russian military equipment and troops. In the NAC session, member countries’ ambassadors reaffirmed the alliance’s position that the governments would not move to ratify the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe until Russia withdraws its forces from Moldova “unconditionally and completely.”

(Moldpres, June 7, 8, 9)