CHISINAU, June 27. /TASS/. A little more than half of the residents of Moldova, whose constitution prescribes neutrality, are against the country joining NATO, according to a public opinion poll released Tuesday by WatchDog.MD, a nongovernmental organization close to the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity.
A representative sample of 1,121 respondents took part in the poll, which was conducted from June 10-19. The maximum margin of error, according to the authors, is 3%. Residents of Transnistria did not participate in the survey.
"If a referendum on Moldova's accession to NATO was held next Sunday, 33.4% of respondents would support membership in the alliance, while 52.6% would be categorically against such integration. The rest are undecided," the head of the organization, Valery Pasha, said at a briefing.
A different poll conducted in May by Moldovan company Date Inteligente (iData) showed that the number of people opposed to Moldova’s accession to NATO in recent months has grown by about 8 percentage points. According to the survey, 63.5% of the respondents are against the republic’s entry into the military bloc and 26.1% support it. Another 10.4% found it difficult to answer. The poll was conducted between April 27 and May 8 and included 1,049 people from 395 localities. The authors estimate the margin of error at 3%.
In January, Moldovan President Maia Sandu in an interview with Politico did not rule out that, in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the republic could abandon its policy of neutrality and join NATO. At the same time, she emphasized that this decision should be made by the citizens democratically, through a referendum.
Moldova interacts with NATO through an individual partnership plan. The Alliance's information center also operates in Chisinau, and a NATO liaison office was opened there in December 2017. Authorities in the unrecognized Transnistrian region, the Gagauz autonomy, and opposition parties have sharply criticized the authorities' plans for rapprochement with the alliance.