Brussels, Oct 26 (EFE).- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Moldovan territory, as the military alliance strengthens its partnership with Chisinau.
Stoltenberg was specifically referring to Russian forces deployed in the separatist breakaway territory of Transnistria.
“NATO fully supports Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean, whom he met at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
“We call on Russia to withdraw its forces from your territory. You can count on our continued assistance,” Stoltenberg told Recean.
Stoltenberg pointed out that Moscow has persistently exerted pressure on Moldova, employing tactics such as energy manipulation and disinformation campaigns, with the aim of destabilizing Moldovan society and undermining its democracy.
“But Moldova has responded with resolve, condemning Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine and strengthening your resilience and security at home,” Stoltenberg added.
Stoltenberg mentioned that NATO has recently agreed on a “substantial package” to enhance Moldova’s cyber defenses, strategic communications, and overall defense capabilities.
“NATO and the Republic of Moldova have worked together for 30 years. And in these very challenging times, we are further deepening our partnership,” he said.
Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO would continue to expand its “practical and political cooperation” with Moldova. “This will also help you on the path towards EU membership,” he said.
For his part, Prime Minister Recean expressed Moldova’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities.
“We are consolidating the defense capabilities and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine triggered an even bigger effort for us, together with our friends, to develop the resilience of the society, the resilience of the institutions, but also our defense capabilities,” Recean added.
He said Moldova was “very willing” to actively participate in the alliance’s international missions and exercises to reinforce its capabilities and interoperability.
Moldova is already participating in NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. EFE