US Military Arrives at Training Ground in Moldova

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

3rd May, 2016


A column of US military equipment that was blocked on the border by representatives of the opposition Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) arrived on the Negresht training range, 40 km North of Chisinau. Here the joint exercise Dragon Pioneer 2016 began, which will be held until 20th May.

As was reported to journalists by the general police inspectorate of Moldova, during the movement of the column from the border with Romania, the police had to intervene to avoid clashes with demonstrators who arrived here headed by a group of deputies from the party of socialists. They chanted “Stop NATO!”, “Go home!”, “Down with NATO!”, “Moldova is a neutral country!” and “No to NATO!”. The deputies demanded to see the documents authorizing the US military to be in a neutral Moldova. Supporters of Right-wing parties in Moldova who advocate the country’s accession to NATO arrived to help the Americans move to the place of events. They tried to prevent the protests and inspections.

“To prevent collisions, officers from the Fulger (Lightning) police battalion of special purpose intervened, which were specially delivered from Chisinau. After checking the documents, a column of military vehicles followed the US to the place of temporary location at the site of Negresht,” said the inspectorate.

The opposition against NATO exercises in neutral Moldova

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“We believe military exercises involving US troops on Moldovan territory is a flagrant violation of the constitutional principle of neutrality of Moldova. In this regard, the deputies from the Party of socialists have already initiated a number of procedures. They will continue, and this will be one of the reasons for introducing in May the initiative to dismiss the government,” – said the leader of the socialists Igor Dodon, whose party has the largest faction in Parliament, which controls a quarter of the seats.

He added that earlier, Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip held talks with Chairman of the Parliament Andrian Candu, who warned that the socialists will organize protests against the planned Ministry of Defence Victory Day exhibition of US military equipment in the center of Chisinau. As expected, it will feature military vehicles that arrived in the country to participate in joint exercises.

“That can’t happen at all, especially on the Holy day of May 9th, when the “Immortal regiment” march will pass in Kishinev. We believe the Ministry of Defence’s plans are a provocation and have warned that angry people will throw eggs at American equipment and all responsibility for any undesirable consequences will fall on the government. The Republican leadership has assured us that the final decision to hold this exhibition is still pending. We will do everything to make sure it is not passed,” said Igor Dodon.

Organizer of the “Museum of Soviet occupation” showed equipment of NATO in Chisinau

The initiative to hold the exhibition of American technology belongs to the Minister of Defence of Moldova Anatol Șalaru, who is famous for the organization of the “Museum of Soviet occupation” in Chisinau, calls to repeal neutrality and make the country a member of NATO, and the fight against monuments of the Soviet era.

“This is not a military parade and not a military presentation, but a friendly demonstration” – said Șalaru the day before to reporters. On his page on a social network, he wrote that “the soldiers of the US army participating in military exercises will honor the memory of victims of the Second world war.” In this case, the target paid attention to the fact that Moldova was liberated from fascism by the Red army, in whose ranks about 300,000 natives of the country fought, among which more than 20 were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Earlier, the “Museum of Soviet occupation” was created under instructions from Șalaru, where he wanted to send the monument to Soviet soldiers established on the territory of Moldova. Then, under his directions, the legendary T-34 tank was removed from one of the pedestals. This aroused the indignation of the Moldovan community, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned this action, noting that they look especially cynical in the context of the 70th anniversary of the great Victory.

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