NATO supports Moldova in its its efforts to remove the Russian troops from its territory, Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO Robert Simmons said in a video conference on September 30.
This is the position of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Moldova should maintain its stance as regards the withdrawal of the Russian troops as well, Robert Simmons said. According to him, if the official Chisinau shows consistent political will, NATO will provide support.
The official said that NATO backs the 5+2 format of the talks on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and suggested avoiding bilateral negotiations with Russia.
He stressed that NATO respects Moldova’s neutrality status.
Robert Simmons said that Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Iurie Leanca Tuesday had a meeting with NATO officials in Brussels. He voiced hope that the relations between Moldova and NATO will develop steadily.
Speaking about the implementation of the NATO-Moldova Individual Partnership Action Plan, Simmons approved of the steps taken during the first year, but said that they decreased in number this year, probably owing to the electoral campaigns. He said that a more ambitious plan of action could be signed in the future.
At the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in 1999, Russia pledged to pull out its troops and munitions from Moldova’s territory by the end of 2002. But it did not fulfill its promises. According to unofficial reports, 20,000-40,000 tonnes of ammunition and guns are stored up in depots near Colbasna village in Transnistria.