Moldova's statement on joining NATO was called an "elegant bluff"

Image source: © Sputnik

EP: Sandu announced the rejection of Moldova's neutral statusMoldova can renounce its neutral status and join NATO, reports "Evropeyska Pravda" with reference to the statement of Maya Sandu.

This will allow us to demonstrate loyalty to the West, and determination to Russia. But, most likely, this is another bluff, the author of the article notes.

Sergey GerasimchukMoldovan President Maia Sandu launched a trial balloon and removed the taboo from conversations on geopolitical topics, which she strongly adhered to during her election campaign.

She cautiously stated that Chisinau might consider membership in "big alliances", and then made it clear that neutrality is not a sacred cow for her and the government.

Explosion in a pro-Russian camp

The statement of President Sandu caused a wave not only among Moldovan politicians, but also in the Russian marshes. The Russian Foreign Ministry threatened that Moldova's membership in NATO could lead to the disintegration of the state (and since the Transnistrian region is not too integrated anyway, it can be assumed that the Russians are hinting that another "trailer" that Moldova will lose will be another pro–Russian region - Gagauzia). At the time when Dmitry Rogozin was still engaged in Moldova, he already voiced such a threat. Another indirect proof of attempts to manipulate the Gagauz theme is the position of the head of Gagauzia Irina Vlakh.

Ms. Vlah is outraged that "Moldova is arming itself" and hints to the Moldovan government that the Piranha armored personnel carriers provided by Germany can stir up a new hot phase of the Transnistrian conflict.

And the scandalous ex-president Igor Dodon has already accused Maya Sandu of working for "overseas hosts" and pointed out to her that Moldovans do not want to become cannon fodder in the NATO conflict against Russia.

Although other politicians have not yet fully seized on Sandu's statement in order to inflate the discussion, on which, by leaps and bounds, their ratings among the pro-Russian population can grow, but expect that ex-president and communist Vladimir Voronin, a "wanted politician" and organizer of anti-government protests (which, according to rumors, conducted with Russian money) Ilan Shor, or populist Renato Usatii, also does not have to.

It should be added that local elections will be held in Moldova this autumn. As expected, they will become "lookouts" for old and new Moldovan politicians and an arena for the struggle for the pro-Russian population disappointed by the socialists.

Probably, the ex-socialist, the current mayor of Chisinau Ion Cheban will try to grab his part of this "electoral pie", which means that he can also take the chance and criticize Sandu. So why did Maya Sandu take such a dangerous step in this difficult situation?

On the one hand, in this way, the President of Moldova called the fire on herself. On the other hand, she gave the oppositionists a chance to quarrel among themselves for the primacy in criticizing her initiatives, which means that they mutually exhaust each other even before the election race.

But Maya Sandu herself and her political force "Action and Solidarity" (PAS) can "ride" the topic of security and use it as their trump card. They say that while everyone is arguing, the responsible president and the government are looking for ways to secure a weak and vulnerable Moldova.

A chance for NATO

And what about the reality of Moldova's membership prospects in NATO? At first glance, it would seem that it would not be so difficult for the alliance to make a decision to start negotiations. Moreover, Bucharest would use all possible ways and all close allies in the Alliance in order to achieve such a solution. And there are prerequisites for this – Moldova's neutral status has not justified itself.

Russia refused to withdraw its troops from the territory of Transnistria. Not only Russian "peacekeepers" are still stationed there, but also OGRV units that do not have any legal status and who would have to leave Moldova in accordance with the decisions of the OSCE summits of 1999 (Porto) and 2001 (Istanbul).

They grossly violate article 4 of the Ceasefire Agreement between Russia and Moldova – the article provides for their neutrality, and instead they conduct regular exercises with the so-called "Transnistrian army". Until the moment of their conclusion, there is no question of respect for Moldovan neutrality at all.

But it is precisely this neutrality of Moldova, which has given it nothing but weakening, that is the main obstacle on the way to NATO, it is enshrined in the constitution. Moldova did not follow the path of recognition of neutrality by global players, did not achieve its recognition by the UN, but imposed this constitutional obligation on itself.

Of course, despite the mood of political forces both in parliament and outside it, it will be difficult to find allies in correcting this historical mistake – now it can be said with all the evidence - it will be difficult. Sandu will not gain a constitutional majority either in the current parliament or in the future. But who knows – remembering how cleverly Maya Sandu used the tools of the constitutional court when she solved previous political crises (for example, the dissolution of the pro–socialist parliament) - does the Moldovan president have any thoughts of playing this game again?

Moldova, of course, is a neutral state according to the constitution. But how, from the point of view of international law, can a state that has troops of another state on its territory be neutral?

This is as absurd as the prospect of Moldova's membership in NATO seemed until recently, which means that the constitution blatantly does not correspond to reality. And here, with a certain skill in the art of political speculation, it is already possible to begin the cautious discussion announced by Sand.

Even if such a scenario is a bluff, it is quite elegant. It allows you to demonstrate loyalty to the West, determination to Russians, and readiness to fight to political opponents. And whether he actually reaches membership in NATO and the abolition of neutral status – who knows.

And will Moldova even need it if, after the Ukrainian victory, it is already surrounded by NATO countries: Ukraine and Romania?

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