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CHISINAU, May 4. /TASS/. Moldova’s opposition Party of Socialists preparing a parade due to bring together thousands of people and other events for May 9 Victory Day will not admit the display of NATO’s military equipment in the center of the capital city, the party’s leader Igor Dodon said on Wednesday warning that clashes are inevitable.
"Do not try to come to Chisinau on May 9," the politician said addressing the US military who came to Moldova to take part in the Dragon Pioneer 2016 exercises. "There will be thousands of us, and we will be prepared to fight back. Do not play with people’s memories and feelings, it’s a holy day for us. American soldiers, take St.George ribbons, flowers and honor the memory, if you want to do so, but there will be no military equipment in the center."
According to Dodon who controls the largest parliamentary faction, the socialists demanded convening an emergency session of the legislature. They intend to invite there Moldovan Defense Minister Anatoly Salaru known for his scandalous statements on making Moldova a NATO member and opening "a museum of Soviet occupation." The socialists also sent a petition to President Nicolae Timofti asking to convene the Security Council.
"Holding NATO exercises in Moldova and displaying the alliance’s military equipment on the country's main square on Victory Day is a nasty slap in the face of the Constitution, which stipulates our neutral status," Dodon said. "It's also a slap in the face of the national parliament that passed a declaration on permanent sovereignty and neutrality recently."
Moldova’s Defense Ministry earlier reported that the US military had been invited to take part in the Dragon Pioneer 2016 NATO exercises to be held until May 20. According to the ministry, 198 U.S. troops and 58 pieces of military equipment will take part in it. The arrival of the US servicemen has sparked dissatisfaction among the parliamentary opposition, which tried to block entry to the country for them. However, after the police arrived, the protesters had to concede.
Under the Constitution, Moldova is a neutral country. However, it has cooperated with NATO since 1994 in the framework of the Individual Partnership Action Plan. The alliance’s information center is operating in Moldova. Numerous opinion polls have shown that the majority of citizens in the country are strongly opposed to plans to seek NATO membership.
Taking into account these sentiments in the society, the parliament passed in early April a political declaration on the inviolability of the principles of Moldova’s sovereignty, independence and neutrality initiated by the opposition Party of Communists and supported by the socialists and the Democratic Party that formed the ruling coalition.