MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. If NATO Liaison Office in Moldova’s capital of Chisinau opens in April as planned, it will be closed after the next parliamentary elections, the country’s president Igor Dodon said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"The agreement (on establishing a NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau) was signed and approved by the parliament," Dodon said. "According to the law, NATO is eligible to open its office, but I have warned them that if they rush and open it this year, then we will close it down next year, after the parliamentary elections."
Dodon added that "Moldova is a neutral state" "which has no need for either NATO offices or the OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) offices." "I have told them bluntly that if they respect our country’s neutrality, if they are ready to assist us in solving our problems, including the Transnistria issue, then they should refrain from rushing things and opening a NATO office, since it would be a provocation," he elaborated.
During his recent visit to Brussels, the Moldovan president asked NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller to call off the opening of the NATO office in Chisinau. However, Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Fomin ordered the foreign ministry to speed up the process of setting up the office scheduled to open in April.
In late November 2016, the Moldovan prime minister and the NATO secretary general signed an agreement on establishing a NATO Liaison Office in Chisinau. The document was ratified by the country’s parliament before Dodon took office. According to the Moldovan Constitution, the country is neutral, polls say that the majority of its citizens oppose NATO membership. Since 1994, Moldova has been cooperating with NATO according to an individual partnership plan, and a NATO information center was set up in Chisinau.
On February 15, the Moldovan president said in an interview with Chisinau’s Europa Libera radio station that he wanted to get the right to dissolve the parliament and planned to submit the relevant initiative to the parliament members in late February or early March.