CHISINAU, September 5. /TASS/. Moldovan president Igor Dodon has banned the participation of national troops in NATO’s Rapid Trident military exercise scheduled to be held in Ukraine.
"I prohibit the Moldovan troops’ participation in foreign military drills," the president wrote on Twitter. In February 2017, Dodon also declined to send Moldovan troops to take part in NATO’s drills in Romania.
The Rapid Trident drills, involving 14 NATO member states, will take place at a training range in Ukraine's western region of Lvov on September 8-23.
According to its constitution, Moldova is a neutral state. Polls say that the vast majority of the country’s citizens oppose NATO membership. However, the parliament believes that it will not prevent Moldova from cooperating with the alliance in accordance with an individual partnership plan, which stipulates that the country should assist NATO in its peacekeeping operations.
In late November 2016, Moldova’s prime minister and the NATO secretary general signed an agreement on establishing a NATO Liaison Office in the country’s capital of Chisinau. The Moldovan parliament ratified the agreement before Dodon’s inauguration. However, during his recent visit to Brussels, the Moldvan president called on the NATO leadership to refrain from launching the office since an increase in the country’s military cooperation with NATO, in his opinion, would complicate efforts to resolve the Transnistria issue.