The defense of Moldova, which is based on general military duty for 12 months, (2008) comprises about 7,000 men and is organized into 3 brigades. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that MDA stands for Moldova. Fighter aircraft missing. Semi-military security forces amount to 3,200 men. Reserves in the form of 66,000 trained soldiers are far beyond what can be equipped. The material is semi-modern and of Soviet origin.
Defense costs decreased in 1996-2006 from 4.2% to 0.3% of GDP. (2008) The armed opposition in the Dnestro area has 7,000 men at its disposal. In July 1992, a standstill agreement signed by the Russian Federation and observers from Ukraine was signed. Moldova participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in five countries.
Moldova has military service with first-time service of 12 months. From 1994, Moldova has been a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. The total force figures for Moldova’s armed forces are 5150 active personnel, with a reserve of 58,000 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 900 semi-military are in a riot police. Russia has military forces in the country, in 2018 about 1500 personnel.
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The Army’s strength is 3250 active personnel, including 1950 conscripts. Materials include 163 armored personnel vehicles, heavy artillery and light air defense artillery.
The Air Force has a personnel force of 600 active personnel, three light transport aircraft, and six helicopters. In addition, the Air Force has short range air defense missiles.
In 2018, Moldova participated in UN operations in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with two personnel and three observers, in Kosovo (UNMIK) with one observer, and in South Sudan (UNMISS) with one personnel and two observers. In addition, the country participated in the NATO operation in Kosovo (KFOR) with 41 personnel.
Moldova’s foreign policy
At the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moldova had refused to participate in the drafting of new Union plans, but still later joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (SUS), though with a number of reservations about how close the cooperation should be. Moldova’s strong economic dependence on the USSR meant a lot to the ratification of the USSR agreement in April 1994. However, Moldova has refused to participate in military cooperation within the USSR, nor is it a member of the economic union.
The country introduced its own currency unit, leu, in November 1993. Moldova has observer status, but is not a member of the Eurasian Economic Community, founded in 2000 as part of the USSR. The good relationship with Russia that the new communist government proposed from 2001 was gradually strained due to the unresolved Transnistria conflict, and the government has instead emphasized closer relations with the EU and the US.
By the declaration of independence of Moldova, Romania was the first country to recognize the new state. However, widespread community in language, culture, religion and history does not mean that the relationship between the two states is without problems. Many in Moldova fear that Romania is primarily interested in the reunification of the two countries, and that Romania does not respect the fact that the Moldovans have their own state. The authorities in Chişinău have on several occasions blamed Romania for domestic problems in Moldova, such as when the Romanian ambassador was expelled following the unrest following the April 2009 elections.
Moldova has combined its neutral foreign political status and its economic and energy dependence on Russia with a closer relationship with Western and pan-European political institutions. Moldova joined the OSCE in 1992 and the Council of Europe in 1995. Although Moldova does not want NATO membership, the country joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace in 1994. This collaboration was later deepened with mutual visits and action plans. The relationship with the EU was formalized in 1998 with a partnership and cooperation agreement, and from 2005 an ENP Action Plan (European Neighborhood Policy) came into effect. It forms an important part of the government’s reform program in the field of democratic and economic reforms, and makes significant financial contributions from the EU.
Moldova has also achieved tariff relief to the EU. From 2005, the European Commission has a permanent delegation in Chişinău. The closer relationship with the EU is also reflected in the fact that the EU has gained observer status in the Transnistria negotiations. A breakthrough in relations with the EU came at the Vilnius Summit in 2013. Moldova then, like Georgia, signed an association agreement and a free trade agreement with the EU. The final signing took place in June 2014. Moldova ratified the agreement in July 2014, and significant parts of the agreement were provisionally put into effect from September 2014. Visa freedom to the EU was implemented from April 2014.
Russia has made great efforts to prevent Moldova from getting closer to the EU, including by temporarily halting imports of wine and other agricultural products from Moldova, and by threats of limiting gas exports to Moldova – an energy source that Moldova depends on of. Vladimir Voronin, leader of the Communist Party, has condemned, in sharp order, the association agreement with the EU. The Communist Party’s alternative is to join the Customs Union between Russia and some other former Soviet republics.