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CHISINASU, April 28 /TASS/. The Moldovan opposition is determined to protest against the government-authorized march of NATO military vehicles and hardware across Moldova, which is supposed to be neutral under the country’s constitution, Igor Dodon, the leader of the Socialist Party of Moldova, said on Thursday.
"We have learnt that a column of US military vehicles is heading for Moldova with an aim to participate in NATO exercises. We regard this march as a rude spat on the country’s constitution, which prescribes neutrality for Moldova, and parliament, which has recently adopted a declaration on the republic’s permanent sovereignty and neutrality," Dodon, whose Socialist Party has the biggest parliamentary faction and controls a quarter of seats in the Moldovan legislature, told TASS.
"The Socialists will organize mass protest rallies against this gross infringement on the country’s neutrality. We will use all legitimate ways to defend Moldova’s statehood and will not allow NATO troops to dominate in our land. We will hold the Victory March and the Immortal Regiment March on May 9. We will carry the photos of our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers who defeated fascism through the streets of Chisinau," Dodon told TASS. He said that the Moldovan government, which had allowed NATO vehicles to pass through the country’s territory, was committing an act of national treason and should immediately step down and face trial.
The Moldovan Defense Ministry said on Thursday that about 100 armored vehicles and other hardware of the Europe-based US ground troops, who are involved in the Dragon Pioneer 2016 NATO exercises, would pass through Chisinau early in May. The 2016 Dragon Pioneer exercises, involving 198 US and 165 Moldovan troopers, will take place in Moldova on May 3-20.
The United States and NATO have stepped up military activities in Eastern Europe in recent years allegedly as a reaction to the aggravation of the Russian-Ukrainian relations. The regional states have increased their military spending several times. They constantly increase the number of troopers and weapons and hold regular maneuvers.