NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow (right, at center) discussed efforts to strengthen cooperation between NATO and Moldova as well as regional issues related to the situation in Ukraine with Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Valeriu Chiveri on March 17.
Vershbow and Chiveri agreed that NATO and Moldova will look into ways to increase political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and Moldova. As a concrete result of efforts to bolster ties, 41 Moldovan soldiers joined NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo earlier in March, marking the first time Moldovan troops have contributed to a NATO operation. Vershbow thanked Moldova for this decision, stressing that it shows Moldova’s growing contribution to Euro-Atlantic security.
Vershbow also welcomed the fact that Moldova recently initialized an association agreement with the European Union. This shows Moldova is on track to meeting its European integration objectives, the U.S. ambassador said. He added that European integration goes hand-in-hand with closer relations with NATO, as both organizations are based on the same values. The deputy secretary-general also reiterated that NATO respects Moldova’s neutrality and underscored that the allies continue to support the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Moldova’s relations with NATO go back to 1992. Practical bilateral NATO cooperation with Moldova is primarily focused on defense and security-sector reforms, including efforts to modernize Moldova’s military academy and strengthening transparency in the defense sector.