Moldova and EU to Deepen Defense Cooperation to Unprecedented Level

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Under the EU proposal to be approved next week, Moldova would increase intelligence sharing, hold joint military exercises and be included in the bloc’s joint arms purchases. The Financial Times says that it will be the most profound formal step to strengthen the country’s security and ties with Western partners. The proposed ‘security and defense partnership’ with Brussels is being implemented despite repeated warnings by Russian officials that Moldova could suffer the same fate as Ukraine if it joins the West, the newspaper says. The new security partnership with Brussels will ‘consolidate’ Moldova’s participation in EU defense missions, including ‘live’ military exercises. Chisinau will also be integrated into ‘defense industry-related initiatives, including joint procurement. Moldova and the EU will also take steps to ‘broaden the scope’ and increase the level of secrecy of shared information, the proposal says. The partnership will also aim at increasing co-operation between Moldovan and European agencies in defending against external manipulation, cyber and terrorist threats, the document notes. ‘This is a confirmation of the growing integration of Moldova’s security and defense positions with the EU,’ an official involved in negotiating the agreement said. According to officials, the proposal will be discussed by EU diplomats this week and is expected to be formally approved next week. The Moldovan government and the European Commission declined to comment, the FT noted.