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Viorel Cibotaru: Moldova’s existence depends on European integration process

The existence of the Republic of Moldova depends on the process of European integration and the development of relations with the North Atlantic Alliance, the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Belgium and Luxembourg Viorel Cibotaru, Head of Moldova’s Mission to NATO, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the ambassador, there is currently unprecedented cohesion between NATO and the EU, which will not allow Vladimir Putin to win the war in Ukraine.

The diplomat noted that the war in Ukraine has led to multiple changes in the European Union and NATO. The Member States are strengthening their defense capabilities, their defense industry, and the NATO-EU synergy considerably decreases the Putin regime’s chances of winning this war.

“From the very beginning, there has been unprecedented solidarity within both the European Union and NATO. We see Ukraine increasingly integrates into the NATO systems. Today I can say that Ukraine became a NATO member without the possibility of applying Article 5. This invasion of the Russian Federation caused both a reform of the European Union and a reform of NATO. It is now a question of solidarity hitherto unimaginable on the part of the states constituting these organizations. Yes, there are states that oppose, but this opposition is based on national, quite narrow interests. But at the same time, particular principled decisions are jointly taken and make it impossible for the Putin regime to win this war,” stated Ambassador Viorel Cibotaru.

According to him, Moldova is regarded by the great powers of the world as the most affected country by war, after Ukraine. Viorel Cibotaru rejected the idea that the West intentionally delays the conveyance of arms to Ukraine.

“The Republic of Moldova is the beneficiary of this process. We continue to be considered the country that is most at risk of being affected by this war. There is much speculation about the amount of aid to Ukraine. The problem of arms deliveries, technically, is not generated by the selfishness or hypocrisy of the West, but is generated by the current state of the collective defense system. The NATO and EU member states are rapidly improving these defense systems. Huge investments are made in the defense industry. There are many new agreements signed by Ukraine with the UK. Agreements with Germany and France are in the making. The agreements with Poland and Romania are at their final phase. This shows that the world is determined not to allow Putin to win,” said Viorel Cibotaru.

He also said that in view of the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2024 and 2025, society must understand that there is no alternative to the European integration process. Moldova must quickly approach the European Union and expand its relations with NATO.

“There is cohesion between NATO and the EU regarding Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia. It goes to the building of these states’ resilience, the capacity to manage things in crisis situations. That’s why criticizing NATO today is similar to criticizing the European integration process that is the only valid and possible one given that trade with Russia has fallen to a few percent. The existence of the Republic of Moldova depends on the process of European integration and the development of relations with NATO,” explained the Head of Moldova’s Mission to NATO.

The public debate entitled “The war that blew up the World” was the 300th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. 

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