Will Moldova Train to Fight with Russia?

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Despite the Defense Ministry’s lies, Moldova will actually participate in the largest NATO exercise dedicated to a potential war with Russia
Semyon ALBU, RTA: The spirit of militarism roams the continent, capturing the minds of more and more European politicians and officials. For example, Boris Pistorius, the German defense minister and, by the way, the most popular politician in the country, perhaps even the future chancellor, is already regularly talking about an imminent war with Russia in three to five years. Allegedly, this is how long it will take the Russians to prepare and attack NATO’s eastern flank. He is echoed by many others, such as the British chief of staff, who urges citizens to prepare for a major land war. Or let’s consider the Baltics, where Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have agreed to jointly build a solid defense line on the border with Russia. Estonia alone is going to build 600 bunkers, as well as extensive minefields and anti-tank barriers. Poland continues to build up its army and purchase equipment, while Romania has sharply increased its military budget to upgrade its technical capabilities, especially its aircraft fleet. In our still neutral Moldova, politicians are playing along with this military paranoia. Russia is officially stigmatized as the main threat, which has already been enshrined in the national security concept. The general aplomb is that only Ukraine protects us from a Russian invasion, which otherwise would certainly take place. However, even the closest allies seem to have less and less confidence in this “shield”. No miracle has happened, Ukraine is not overpowering Russia, and in the current war of attrition, the Russians obviously have much more opportunities, advantages, resources, even simple human ones. After a while, they also managed to find partner states ready to provide particular “lend-lease”. Iranian drones have been flying over Ukrainian territory for a long time, and now North Korean ballistic missiles and shells are flying over it as well. And if earlier Russia’s cooperation with the DPRK seemed like a desperate act and was the subject of jokes, now everyone is not laughing anymore. In one of his recent interviews, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba complained quite frankly that North Korea supplies more shells to Russia than the whole of Europe supplies to Kyiv. At the same time, for the Ukrainians themselves, the military support has temporarily shrunk and it is unclear whether it will be resumed in the previous volumes. And we should also take into account that, to be frank, it should not only be restored quickly but also expanded as much as possible, including more modern and long-range weapons. So far, the West has no such intention. Sometimes it seems that Kyiv, with its rampant corruption, stubborn leadership, and aging soldiers, has been “given up” on. It is clear that no one will disconnect it from the “life support system”, but no one has much hope that it will crush the Russian military machine. On the other hand, even in case of victory, Moscow will end this conflict noticeably weakened. After all, huge sums have been poured into the defense sector and warfare, and the factor of losses in men and weapons will also play a role. As well as the need to further settle in the captured Ukrainian territories, which will require not only reconstruction, but also, of course, operational and forceful measures. Under such conditions, Russia may become a tempting target for the West, which may want to force it to “good behavior” by means of another war. The fact that Moscow is allegedly planning to attack NATO itself is probably not believed even by those who are currently yelling it in the media. It is wagging the conflict with Ukraine with great effort and is unlikely, even in case of a positive outcome for itself, to decide to get involved in a new, virtually suicidal war with an incomparably more powerful rival. So, our Western partners are clearly beginning to militarize their countries, increase military expenditure and enlarge their armies. Training exercises do not stop for a moment; on the contrary, they are growing in their scale. For instance, as it was recently announced, the largest exercise since the Cold War, Steadfast Defender 2024, will be held, in which all NATO members, as well as Sweden, which is almost a part of it, will participate. The scope is really impressive – 90 thousand soldiers, thousands of combat vehicles, dozens of aircraft and helicopters. The goal is to test combat capabilities in a conflict with Russia. As part of the exercise, the transfer of US forces across the Atlantic to Europe and the defense of the Alliance’s eastern flank will be practiced. And what role does a small neutral Moldova have in all this “mess”? As it turned out, the most direct one. Thus, news has recently surfaced that our country will also take part in the Steadfast Defender as well as will host one of its phases in May. Moldova, by the way, is the only country that is not a member or candidate for NATO membership. This news naturally stirred up the public, which had a lot of questions about the participation of a republic with constitutional neutrality in such maneuvers. A bit later, a representative of the Moldovan Defense Ministry denied this information, stating that our military would be training in other Swift Response exercises scheduled for May and allegedly they had nothing to do with the Steadfast Defender. Of course, suspicions were immediately aroused, since the initial information was provided by Radio Free Europe, which certainly cannot be accused of working for Kremlin propaganda. Moreover, the journalists of this periodical were referring not to rumors, but to internal NATO documents that had come into their possession. In addition, even a cursory surfing of the Internet makes it easy to find out that Swift Response is directly related to Steadfast Defender, being one of 18 exercises conducted as part of it. The fact that the current authorities are “compulsive liars” is not news to anyone, and it is even strange that our colleagues have not caught the defense ministry in obvious lies. On the other hand, it is also strange that for some reason the Ministry of Defense was ashamed of these very exercises. In fact, we have long been so tightly aligned with the North Atlantic Alliance that hiding it behind vague language becomes a clearly non-trivial task. There were about two dozen joint exercises last year, based on official press releases only. Just look at the news feed of the last few days, what will you find there? That the interior minister is attending a training session between our security forces and U.S. special forces. No need to play a man of honour, right? Nor do we stop our own purchases of hardware. Only recently we have brought in a modern French radar, which can even monitor drones, and minister Anatolie Nosatii is already dreaming of the next one. And one such thing costs a dozen and a half million dollars. Another military delivery has arrived from France. Military “high living” continues, and our partners sponsor it so generously not for charitable reasons, but with quite specific purposes – to use Moldova in the forthcoming conflict with Russia. Thus, participation in the largest NATO military exercises, where war with Russia will be practiced, is quite a logical step. The burden of military operations will fall entirely on eastern allies like the Baltics, Romanians, Poles and Moldovans, who are far from the “golden billion” and can be easily sacrificed as well as the Ukrainians. And in the meantime, Western businessmen will tighten the screws at home and make a profit in the next bloody massacre - into which the “yellow” government headed by Sandu is leading us in a brisk march. Something to think about.